Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lady Manvers, artist.

Lady Manvers, born Marie-Louise Roosevelt Butterfield (1889 -1984), was a talented and prolific artist. Noting her obvious passion for the subject, her father Sir Frederick Butterfield of Cliffe Castle, Yorkshire, enrolled her in the Julienne School of Art when the family moved to Paris in her early teens. This School concentrated on studious drawing from observation, the benefits of which are apparent in the strong draughtsmanship underpinning all her work.

Her drawings and paintings of the many places she visited are of keen historical interest today. For example, I remember a small water color of a sunny street in Europe painted in the 1930's. A very pleasant scene, but one which upon closer inspection revealed a chilling small detail of the then rising National Socialist Party's flag hanging from just one window. Her studies of life on Thoresby Estate during the subsequent war years are also an invaluable and unique record of Thoresby at that time.

When Lady Manvers moved to Thoresby Park as wife to Gervas Evelyn Pierrepont, 6th Earl Manvers, she would take for her subject many of the people on the Estate. One such example was Verna Langstaff, a beautiful black girl attending Perlethorpe School, who posed for her in the 1950s, seated on the lower branch of a tree outside Perlethorpe Church. The water colour sketch above, dated 1962, depicts the interior of the main joiner's workshop situated on the left of the Woodyard entrance. The subjects are Gran Gilliver (left), and Works Foreman William "Jock" Craig (right), the latter of whom had run back nervously into his home the Three Gables to get a clean shirt!

After Lady Manvers died in 1984 her daughter Lady Rozelle allowed a small number of such sketches and paintings to be given to the sitters involved, and I still have the two letters from her authorizing this particular one to be given over to me. In 1991 Lady Rozelle oversaw the conversion of the Stable Block to the right of Thoresby Hall into an Art Gallery which could celebrate her mother's work as well as display paintings by new artists. Thoresby Gallery became a notable success.

 Above: Lady Manvers' superb painting of the saw mill at The Woodyard, Thoresby. Jack Williamson, who was in charge of the mill, is centre left, dressed in his characteristic black work clothes and hat. The larger figure in blue is (I'm fairly certain) his son Ted.

Read more about Lady Manvers, artist, on THIS LINK. See photographs of other Thoresby estate workers from the 1950s / 1960s on THIS LINK.

Lady Manvers is buried in Perlethorpe Church, see THIS LINK.

UPDATE March 2016:  Lady Manvers artist, my dad, and Coquette. See THIS LINK.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Perlethorpe Village, Thoresby Park, Sherwood Forest, the Dukeries, Thoresby Hall, history, Lady Manvers.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Pierrepont, Manvers, Dukeries, Thoresby Hall, Thoresby Hotel, Thoresby Park, Perlethorpe, Perlethorpe Village, Ollerton, Budby, Sherwood Forest.

Woodyard, Perlethorpe School, Perlethope Church, Budby.

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