Mary Gwenllian Gibson
Active: 1911 - 1966
Country of birth and death: England
Painter, teacher of leatherwork, needlework and bookbinding
Born in Wolverhampton. She was the daughter of Frederick J. Gibson (born c.1860 in Cambridge) a Woverhampton chemist and druggist. Mary taught leatherwork, needlework and bookbinding at Wolverhampton School of Art but was also a painter in oils, exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts during the 1940s and 1950s. She was also a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (elected a member in 1953) and Wolverhampton Society of Artists.
Gibson was a friend and colleague of the sculptor Robert Jackson Emerson and was one of the group of artists who met at his studio in Castle Street, Wolverhampton. This provided an open house for young artists and students who wanted to talk about art, watch Emerson at work and sometimes assist in the making of casts. These artists included Thomas Bayliss Huxley Jones and his future wife, Gwynneth Holt, Geoffrey Deeley, Annesley Tittensor and Charles Wheeler (the latter describes the Castle Street studio in his autobiography, 'High Relief'). The Express & Star newspaper proprietor, Norrie Graham, was a close friend of Emerson and allowed him the use of the big-top lit workshop in Castle Street which was originally a paper store for the printing presses below. The newspaper has a painting by Mary Gibson of the interior of the studio which portrays Emerson at work.
Emerson painted a portrait of Mary Gibson, which was presented to Wolverhampton Art Gallery by Gwynneth Holt. Gibson was at Emerson's bedside when he died and her grave is close to his in St Phillips Church yard in Wolverhampton.
This entry is based on notes submitted by Brendan Flynn.
Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at Royal Society of Artists Birmingham Autumn Exhibition, 1926
Exhibited 'Three Modelled Leather Panels', coloured and gilded. The panels are described as 'part of a set of five panels to be inserted on a gilded and stained oak Altar front for St. Margaret of Antioch Church, Birmingham' [summary], p. 23 (216). The artist was living in Wolverhampton.
Personal and Professional Connections
Friends with Robert Jackson Emerson
Gibson and Emerson were teaching colleagues at Wolverhampton School of Art and remained very close friends throughout their lives.
Friends with Thomas Bayliss Huxley- Jones
Gibson and Huxley-Jones were part of a circle of artists and friends who met in Robert Jackson's Castle Street studio.
Friends with (Rose) Gwynneth Cobden Holt
Gibson and Holt were part of a circle of artists and friends who met in Robert Jackson's Castle Street studio. Holt gave a portrait of Mary Gibson by Emerson to Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
Friends with Geoffrey Hampton Deeley
Gibson and Deeley were part of a circle of artists and friends who met in Robert Jackson's Castle Street studio.
Friends with Annesley Tittensor
Gibson and Tittensor were part of a circle of artists and friends who met in Robert Jackson's Castle Street studio.
Friends with Charles Thomas Wheeler
Gibson and Wheeler were part of a circle of artists and friends who met in Robert Jackson's Castle Street studio.
Descriptions of Practice
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901
Class: RG13; Piece: 2671; Folio: 58; Page: 6
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
RG14PN17054 RG78PN1052 RD369 SD5 ED2 SN50
Citing this record
'Mary Gwenllian Gibson', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1232546285, accessed 25 Apr 2017]