Nancy Nicholson

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Nancy Nicholson
Annie Mary Pryde Nicholson

Salisbury, Wiltshire, England [2]
Known forfabric design

Annie "Nancy" Mary Pryde Nicholson (1899–1977) was an English painter and fabric designer.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Painting Practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.


Early life

Born Annie Mary Pryde Nicholson, she was the only daughter of the artists Sir William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde. She had three brothers, artist Ben Nicholson, architect Christopher Nicholson and Anthony, who was killed in action in 1918 in the First World War. [3]

William Nicholson (artist) English painter, wood-engraver and illustrator (1872–1949)

Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson was a British painter of still-life, landscape and portraits. He also worked as a wood-engraver and lithographer, as an illustrator, as an author of children's books and as a designer for the theatre.

Mabel Pryde Scottish artist

Mabel Scott Lauder Pryde was an artist, and wife of artist William Nicholson and mother of artists Ben Nicholson and Nancy Nicholson and the architect Christopher 'Kit' Nicholson.

Ben Nicholson British painter

Benjamin Lauder Nicholson, OM was an English painter of abstract compositions, landscape and still-life.

Robert Graves

Nancy married the poet Robert Graves in 1918. The following year, Graves started as a student in Oxford. The couple lived in a cottage on Boars Hill in Oxford, which they rented from the author John Masefield. In 1920, in partnership with a neighbour, The Hon. Mrs Michael Howard, Nancy set up a small grocer's shop, next door to the Masefields' house. Alarmed by the tourists it attracted, Mrs Masefield opposed its takeover by an Oxford firm, and the project collapsed after six months, leaving heavy debts settled only with the help of friends and family. In disgust, Graves and Nancy moved to the village of Islip, the other side of Oxford.

Robert Graves English poet and novelist

Robert von Ranke Graves was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works. Graves's poems—together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths; his memoir of his early life, including his role in World War I, Good-Bye to All That; and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess—have never been out of print.

Boars Hill village in United Kingdom

Boars Hill is a hamlet 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Oxford, straddling the boundary between the civil parishes of Sunningwell and Wootton. Historically part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.

Oxford City and non-metropolitan district in England

Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of approximately 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, and it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county. The city is 51 miles (82 km) from London, 61 miles (98 km) from Bristol, 59 miles (95 km) from Southampton, 57 miles (92 km) from Birmingham and 24 miles (39 km) from Reading.

A lifelong feminist, Nancy used to cycle to Oxfordshire villages and set up a stall to explain to women how to use contraception, when it was still illegal. Her open-mindedness led her to accept a triangular relationship, and from early 1926 Laura Riding lived with her and Graves in London [4] The marriage eventually broke down, as Graves increasingly favoured Riding, leaving Nancy to bring up the four children of the marriage alone, [5] in a succession of locations, including Cumberland and a further spell on Boars Hill. Nancy and Graves legally divorced in 1949.

Laura Riding Jackson was an American poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer.

Cumberland Historic county of England

Cumberland is a historic county of North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It was bordered by Northumberland to the east, County Durham to the southeast, Westmorland and Lancashire to the south, and the Scottish counties of Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire to the north. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria.

Publishing and textile design

After a period in the early 1930s living with Geoffrey Taylor [6] on a houseboat moored in Hammersmith, Nancy set up the Poulk Press, [7] in which she collaborated for a time with him. They lived near Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, in a timber house designed by Nancy and built with family labour. [8] Her relationship with Taylor lasted five years. [9] She worked at this period with her brother Ben and his wife Barbara Hepworth on textiles.

Jeoffrey "Geoffrey" Basil Phibbs (1900–1956) was an English-born Irish poet; he took his mother's name and called himself Geoffrey Taylor, after about 1930.

Hammersmith district in west London, England

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Sutton Veny village in United Kingdom

Sutton Veny is a village and civil parish situated in the Wylye Valley, about 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of the town of Warminster in Wiltshire, England. 'Sutton' means 'south farmstead' in relation to Norton Bavant, one mile (1.6 km) to the north. 'Veny' may be a French family name or may describe the village's fenny situation.

Undeterred by the failure of the Boars Hill shop, in the 1940s she ran a business in Motcomb Street, London. Her designs influenced her sister-in-law EQ Nicholson. [10] Her work was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1976.

Motcomb Street street in City of Westminster, United Kingdom

Motcomb Street is a street in the City of Westminster's Belgravia district in London. It is known for its luxury fashion shops, such as Christian Louboutin shoes, Stewart Parvin gowns, and the jeweller Carolina Bucci, and was the location of the original Pantechnicon department store.

EQ Nicholson British painter and textile designer

EQ Nicholson was an English painter and textile designer.

Victoria and Albert Museum Art museum in London

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


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