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ID number:  BIRRC-A0331
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Southall, Joseph Edward
Title / Object name:  Mrs. Alice Beale
Object type:  Drawing
Culture:  British
Date made:  1914
Materials:  Pencil heightened with watercolour
Measurements:  Mount: 44 x 34 cm, Frame 51 x 38 cm
BIRRC-A0331(1).jpg

The sitter is Lady Mayoress Alice Beale (1845 - 1940), pioneer of social service and first president of the Birmingham Settlement. As wife of the first chancellor of Birmingham University, Mrs Beale also chaired the Executive committee along with Miss Charlotte Chamberlain, to develop living accommodation for female students at the University. When University House (now the Business School) on Edgbaston Park Road was built in 1908 it was the first purpose-built women's hall in the country.

Joseph Edward Southall (1861-1944) was born in Nottingham, and initially trained as an architect, but turned to painting in 1882. He and was inspired to take up tempera after a long trip to Italy in the following year, and he was one of the first artists to revive this medium. Together with G. F. Watts, Walter Crane, Holman Hunt, J. D. Batten and others, he set up the Society of Painters in Tempera. An early picture at the Royal Academy was Gismonda (1898), a very flat, formally composed picture, in the manner of Rossetti. A number of oil paintings, watercolours and tempera works by Southall can be seen in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. He also made the fresco of Corporation Street in Birmingham which greets every visitor to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery at the top of the stairs leading from the main entrance in Chamberlain Square. A self-portrait with his wife is at the National Portrait Gallery.

3 Related Media Items

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