Laura Knight, Make-up, 1925. Gift of the American Friends of Canada Committee, Inc., 1999, through the generosity of G. Fredric Bolling and Valerie A. Withington, Detroit © Estate Dame Laura Knight DBE RA RWS


13 May 2011 to 21 Aug 2011 – National Gallery of Canada

British painter-turned-printmaker Laura Knight portrays her subject matter – ranging from the circus to cabarets and ballet – with a deeply compassionate vision. The 70 works in the exhibition include a selection from Watteau to Chagall which examine the relationship between performance and spectator. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Made possible thanks to the gift of Laura Knight works made by G. Fredric Bolling and Valerie A. Withington through the American Friends of Canada.
Laura Johnson was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire to Charles and Charlotte Johnson. Her father died not long after her birth, and Laura grew up in a family that struggled with financial problems. In 1899 she was sent to France with the intention that she would eventually study art at a Parisian atelier. After a short time in French schools, she returned to England. There, at the age of 13 she entered the Nottingham School of Art, one of the youngest students ever to join the school. At school, Laura met one of the most promising students, Harold Knight (1874–1961), aged 17, and determined that the best method of learning was to copy Harold’s technique. They became friends, and married in 1903.

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