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 Lilian Pollitt  (1863 - 1948)

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Lived/Active: England      Known for: watercolor painting

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Lilian  Pollitt
An example of work by Lilian Pollitt
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Lilian Pollitt (1863-1948): Late 19th Century English Watercolor Artist

Lilian Pollitt and her twin sister, Beatrix, were born into an artistic family between July and September 1863, in Manchester, then part of Lancashire, England. The 1881 British census shows them both as art students, which may have been at the traditional Manchester School of Art, initially, but they were likely later influenced by the more progressive Manchester School of Painters* that accepted watercolor as a legitimate art medium.  They lived with their widowed father, Robert Pollitt (born about 1833), who was an artist/painter.  He was connected (and perhaps his daughters as well) with the Art Workmen’s Association in Manchester. 

The Pollitt sisters were the nieces of popular 19th century British comedian and actor Lionel “Lal” Brough.  It does not appear that either one married.  They lived in the Manchester, Lancashire area until at least 1893; but by 1901, they were living with their father in neighboring Cheshire, England.  At some point they returned to Lancashire where they would spend the remainder of their lives. 

Little is known of the Pollitt sisters’ artwork or their lives as artists; although, it seems they were active from at least 1880. Early examples of their work are water color paintings of scenes on the Isle of Man.

Beatrix won a “Prize Competition” in 1893 for drawing the best illustrated advertisement for a product known as Edwards’ “Harlene”.  Her prize was ten British pounds; plus an additional five pounds for other works (about $2,100 at present value).

Beatrix died in Lancashire in 1935. 

Lilian became a Major in the Salvation Army in Manchester, where she remained active from about 1921 to at least 1942.  She died in Lancashire in 1948.  In 2010, decades after their deaths, some of their drawings and sketches, once in the collection of their famous uncle Lionel Brough, were exhibited at the Ballarat Museum in Victoria, Australia.

Submitted by V. Bianco

Numerous census records, auction records, newspaper and magazine articles

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

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