Mary Fedden, OBE, RA, LG
Mary Fedden was born in 1915 and educated at Badminton School, Bristol. She studied at the Slade School of Art. On completion of her course she returned to Bristol where she taught life drawing at the local School of Art and had her own studio at the top of her parent's house.
Mary continued to live in Bristol until the war and after brief spells in the Land Army and Woman's Voluntary Service she returned to London. As her part in the war effort she painted murals for propaganda exhibitions and at night painted sets at the Arts Theatre in Great Newport Street. In 1944 she was finally called up and sent abroad as a driver for the NAAFI. After driving supply trucks, Mary became a staff driver for the Assistant Head of NAAFI in Europe and drove all over France from Normandy and Brittany down to the Côte d'Azur, and finally into Germany as the allies advanced and the war came to an end.
Back in London in 1946 Mary began to paint at last for herself whilst also helping once more with the sets of the Arts Theatre. She held her first one-person exhibition in Heals Department Store in 1947 and after having been commissioned by the Woman magazine to paint their covers was able to paint full-time.
In 1949 she moved to Durham Wharf, a complex of studios on the Thames at Chiswick, where she still lived and worked. In 1951 she married the artist Julian Trevelyan, whom she had met before the war. Together they travelled in Europe, Africa, India, Russia and America. Since 1946 Fedden has painted prolifically and has had regular exhibitions at the Redfern Gallery, the New Grafton Gallery and many other galleries throughout Britain. She painted murals for the Television pavilion at the 1951 Festival of Britain. From the late 1950s she taught painting at the Royal College of Art. In 1992 she was elected to the Royal Academy and was a member of the Royal West of England Academy at Bristol since the mid-1930s, serving as its President from 1984 to 1988.