July 31st Dod Procter RA (Death)

Dod Procter (1890 – 1972), pictured left with her husband Ernest, was born Doris Margaret Shaw in Hampstead and was one of the most significant members of the Newlyn School of Art. 

The daughter of a ship’s doctor and a mother who had studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, her early years were spent in Tavistock but after the early death of her father, Dod’s mother moved the family to Newlyn in 1907. Aged fifteen, she enrolled in the Newlyn School of Painting which had been established and was run by Elizabeth Forbes (December 29th) and Stanhope Forbes (November 18th).  It was in Newlyn that Dod met her lifelong friend, Dame Laura Knight (July 7th) and her future husband, Ernest Procter (March 22nd) and the Procters were regarded by the Forbes as their star pupils. 

In 1910, Dod and Ernest, accompanied by her mother, went to Paris where they studied at the Atelier Colarossi and met both Renoir and Cézanne, becoming heavily influenced by Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.  Dod and Ernest married at Paul Church in 1912 and set up home in North Corner, Newlyn. 

Just one year later, Dod exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time, her reputation growing rapidly.  After World War I, Dod concentrated on portraits,  mainly of young local women.  Two famous examples are ‘Girl In White’ (1923) (left) and ‘The Model’ (1926) (below middle). 

The sitter for ‘The Girl In White’ was a Newlyn fisherman’s daughter, Cissie Barnes, who was also the figure in ‘Morning’ (1927, below left) whilst the sitter for ‘The Model’ was the artist Midge Bruford (April 2nd).

Morning’ was voted the Summer Picture of the Year at the Royal Academy and was bought for the public by the Daily Mail.  It is now exhibited at The Tate.

In the early 1930s, Dod changed to painting interiors of which ‘Kitchen At Myrtle Cottage’ (below right) is the most well known. Ernest died suddenly in 1935 and three years later, Dod moved to Zennor to live near her friend Alethea Garstin (June 1st) and as well as portraits, she also concentrated on painting flowers.

She was elected to Royal Academy in 1942 and travelled extensively in North America and in Africa, the latter trips with her artist friend Jeanne du Maurier (March 27th), the younger sister of Daphne du Maurier (May 13th).  Dod also spent time in the 1950s in Jamaica, with Alethea Garstin (June 1st) where she mainly painted portraits of local children.

Towards the end of her life, Dod’s work fell out of critical acclaim, but lost her popularity with the general public. Her talents are now fully recognised again and her works are displayed in many prestigious galleries.


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