Beatrice Parsons (1869-1955)
Beatrice Parsons specialised in detailed representations of gardens, and especially floral borders. The results were exhibited in a large number of highly successful solo shows in London, and used to illustrate a number of books.
Beatrice Parsons was born in Peckham, South London, the sister of the stained-glass designer Karl Parsons, and educated at the Haberdashers’ Askes School for Girls. She studied at King’s College, London, and at the Royal Academy Schools, where she won three prizes. Beginning to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1889, she attempted a variety of subjects but, from the turn of the century, specialised in the detailed depiction of gardens, and especially floral borders. The results were exhibited in some 22 highly successful solo shows, mainly at Dowdeswell’s Gallery and the Greatorex Gallery, and well over 30 of her works were bought by Queen Mary. Other notable purchasers include the Duchess of Westminster and the Duchess of Harewood.
Parsons also illustrated a number of books on gardens, including Gardens of England (1908) and Dion Clayton Calthrop’s The Charm of Gardens (1910). She lived in Hampstead (after 1901) and Oxhey, in Hertfordshire (from 1907). She died on 17 February 1955.
Biography and notes on Beatrice Parsons by Sue Selwyn, the author of a forthcoming biography of the artist