Betty Marion Rea
Other names: née Bevan
Born 6 August 1904
Died 2 April 1965
Active: 1922 - 1965
Country of birth and death: England
Born London. Studied at Regent St. Polytechnic 1922-24; Royal College of Art from 1924. Founder member of Artists’ International Association and secretary 1934-36; Chair of Arts Peace Campaign. Worked on mural in Unofficial Peace Pavilion at Paris World Fair 1937. Taught painting and modelling in evacuated children’s homes Huntingdon 1939-46. Also taught at Homerton College, Cambridge 1949-64. From late 1940s, sculpture largely based on the figure, much of it in terra cotta.
Exhibitions include: Artists for Peace, Woburn Place, London 1952; co-organised Looking at People, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1955 and expanded version at South London Gallery which travelled to Moscow 1957; Artists of Fame and Promise, Leicester Galleries, London 1956, 57; Womens International Art Club exhibition 1957; annually with Cambridge Society of Painters and Sculptors from 1955; Three Humanist Sculptors, Zwemmer Gallery, London 1960. Commissioned for a life-size figure group for swimming-pool in Cambridge, completed posthumously by John Mills.
Collections include: Leeds City Art Galleries; various education authority collections; Cambridge Institute of Education; University of Warwick; Hockerill College, Bishop’s Stortford; Harlow Art Trust; Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry.
Further reading: B. Robertson, Betty Rea 1904-1965, Zwemmer Gallery, London, 1965, (exh. cat.).
K. Deepwell, Ten Decades : Careers of Ten Women Artists born 1897-1906, Norwich Gallery, Norfolk Institute of Art and Design, 30 March to 16 May 1992, (exh. cat.).
Biography from Whiteley (2001) and (2004)
Wealth at death: £5,689 0s. 0d.
Probate date: 7 July 1965
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Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, 75th Spring Exhibition, 1934
'Boy on Tortoise'
Catalogue of the 75th Spring Exhibition, Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, 1934
Cat. No. 274, pp. 42, 54
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Gillian Whiteley, ‘Rea , Betty Marion (1904–1965)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66318, accessed 25 July 2010]
Citing this record
'Betty Marion Rea', 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=msib5_1241025160, accessed 26 Mar 2015]