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International Women's Day

Posted 8th March 2018
Watts Contemporary Gallery

Book Launch

To celebrate International Women's Day 2018, we're holding a special event and book launch with Dr Lucy Ella Rose. Join us to hear extracts from Suffragist Artists in Partnership, and purchase a signed copy. See our new display, Mary Watts: Pioneering Suffragette, in Watts Studios.

Dr Lucy Ella Rose's new book explores the interconnected creative partnerships of the Wattses and the De Morgans - Victorian artists, writers and suffragists. The study demonstrates how Mary and George Watts and Evelyn and William De Morgan worked, individually and together, to support greater gender equality and female liberation in the nineteenth century. The author traces their relationship to early and more recent feminism, reclaiming them as influential early feminists and reading their works from twentieth-century theoretical perspectives. By focusing on neglected female figures in creative partnerships, the book challenges longstanding perceptions of them as the subordinate wives of famous Victorian artists and of their marriages as representative of the traditional gender binary. This is also the first academic critical study of Mary Watts's recently published diaries, Evelyn De Morgan's unpublished writings and other previously unexplored archival material by the Wattses and the De Morgans.

Praise for Suffragist Artists in Partnership

'A reassessment of the works of Mary Watts and Evelyn De Morgan is long overdue. Lucy Ella Rose's captivating book explores how both artists achieve their singularity through collaboration, not only with each other and within their broader female networks, but also through their two-way "conjugal creative partnerships" with their artist husbands, George Frederic Watts and William De Morgan.' - Hilary Fraser, Birkbeck, University of London.

Lucy Ella Rose is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Surrey. Her collaborative doctoral award from the University of Surrey and Watts Gallery supported her research on neglected women in nineteenth-century creative partnerships. Rose has worked extensively on the Mary Watts archive at Watts Gallery and assisted the transcription of her diaries. She presents and publishes on Victorian literature, art, culture and feminism.

Book tickets for our International Women's Day Book Launch.