Evelyn Dunbar (1906-1960):
Geranium Armenum - A Fine Crane's - Bill , circa 1937
Unmounted (ref: 5367)
Pen and ink, 10 x 8 in. (25.5 x 20.3 cm.)
Provenance: given by Evelyn Dunbar to Margaret Lliffe, nee Goodwin.
This drawing is a preparatory sketch for the illustration which appears on page 94 of Gardener's Choice, a collaboration between Charles Mahoney and Evelyn Dunbar published by Routledge at the end of 1937. The full page illustrations were mostly produced by Mahoney, the vignettes and much of the text by Dunbar, though Dunbar appears to have also done some of the drawings of plants. As Elizabeth Bulkeley notes in her biographical essay, “They presented the plants that they liked to draw, paint and grow. The were sculptural and bold, yet subtle, and unusual for their time. Each was described lovingly, as if in sharing their favourite plants they were sharing their mutual happiness”.
Margaret Goodwin attended the Royal College of Art 1929 to 1933, a contemporary of Evelyn Dunbars in the School of Drawing and Painting. The two remained friends. It is recorded that they holidayed together, with Mrs Gwynne-Jones (mother of Allan Gwynne-Jones), at Strawberry cottage, possibly around the time war was declared.
We are grateful to Gill Clarke for assistance.