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 Mabel Allington Royds  (1874 - 1941)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / United Kingdom/Canada      Known for: botanic and figural woodcuts, painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mabel Royds was an English artist best known for her woodcuts*. She grew up in Liverpool and studied art at the Slade School* in London. She then went to Canada where she taught at the Havergal College in Toronto. On returning to Britain she taught at the Edinburgh College of Art, then under the directorship of Frank Morley Fletcher, under whose influence she took up making colour woodcuts. In 1913 she married the etcher, Ernest Lumsden, who also taught at Edinburgh, and together they travelled through Europe, the Middle East and India.

Unable to afford traditional pear wood boards from which woodcuts were commonly made, she purchased breadboards from Woolworths on which to create her works.

Her best well-known works include the Knife Grinders, Housetops, and the Boat Builders, all scenes of India created in around 1920-1930. Her woodcuts of flowers, dating from around 1930 to 1933, including Cineraria, Honeysuckle and Columbine, are also well known.


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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mabel Royds studied at the Slade School of Art in London, but it was her extensive world travels and her friendship with the artist Walter Sickert, and other artists in his circle, in Paris that influenced her the most.  At the turn of the century she went to Canada and taught at the Havergal College in Toronto.  She returned to Britain to teach at the Edinburgh College of Art.

In 1913 she married the etcher Ernest Lumsden, and together they traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East and India.  Her observations, particularly of peasant life in India served as subject matter for many of her woodcuts. By hand inking, after cutting her woodcuts on cheap wood boards bought from Woolworth's, she made prints, which have a freshness that contrasts with many of the more conservative British prints of the time.

Her earliest prints date from before 1910, while the Indian subjects were made from 1920-30. After her return to Britain she exhibited widely, with considerable success.

Source: Annex Galleries

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