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May Morris in the Tapestry Room at Kelmscott Manor (1912)

Mary Annie Sloane (10.12.1867 - 30.11.1961)

The artist was a close friend of May Morris with whom she travelled to Florence and Majorca, and of whom she drew several pencil portraits now in the WMG collection. (D277 and D278a-c). A related watercolour, William Morris's Bedroom at Kelmscott Manor, is also in the Gallery's collection (W158) and was also part of the Sloane Bequest. Both W157 and W158 are probably identifiable with two watercolours of 'Rooms at Kelmscott' which appeared as lot 329 in the catalogue of the sale of effects at Kelmscott Manor in 1939 after May Morris's death, when they were bought back by Miss Sloane.

A letter from May Morris to John Quinn (Easter Monday 1912) states 'I have a guest, who is painting just now, my colleague on the Women's Guild of Arts. She is doing for me a picture of Father's bedroom, and another of this room [Tapestry Room] with me half in the picture, at work - her idea - , and if I like them well enough they are going to you. Indeed they were to be done for your birthday, but may not be ready. I wanted to do them myself, dear, but there is no time, and besides mine would have been but clumsy things.' A second letter to Quinn (25 April 1912) adds 'I am sorry Miss Sloane's Kelmscott drawings were not finished in time to send. I hope you'll like them when they come. They are really rather charming. She is distinguished artist in her line, and a pleasant-house-mate, quiet and serene and contained.'
See 'On Poetry, Painting and Politics', ed Janis Londraville,1997, pp.110 and 112.