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Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)


Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)

A versatile artist, Cicely Mary Barker illustrated stories of contemporary childhood, produced religious paintings and designed stained glass, but remains best known for her Flower Fairies. Her sweet and delicate style has been compared to that of her friend Margaret Tarrant, and both artists are now taken seriously as portraitists of fairyland.

Cicely Mary Barker was born in West Croydon, Surrey, on 28 June 1895, the younger of two daughters of Walter Barker, a seed merchant, and his wife, Mary (née Oswald). Her childhood homes in Croydon were: 68 Waddon Road (1895-99), 1 Duppas Avenue (1899-1907) and 17 The Waldrons (1907-24). A delicate child, who suffered from epilepsy, she was educated by governesses. Her father was an amateur artist who made wood carvings, and he encouraged her artistic talent, which had been sparked by her childhood reading, including the picture books of Kate Greenaway.

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