Beldy (Mabel Maugham)
BELDY (Mabel Maugham 1874-1972)
A very rare Stitched Fabric Collage
Signed in pen lower left
Provenance: Galerie Moos, Geneve
Original silvered frame
Free shipping to UK for elsewhere please contact me for total
My introduction to the fabric pictures of Beldy was about 15 years ago at Christes South Kensington. It was street scene filled with figures created completely by using pieces of fabric.
In 1929 after a long career as a water-colourist, she had the idea of making fabric pictures. Don’t call the assembled materials a collage; Beldy never uses a spec of glue, preferring to join her segments of coloured fabric with stitches. I was impressed by her technique; from a distance her artwork could have been a modernist watercolour composition. The fascination for me lies in her ability to adopt this technique to the rendering of effects that normally can be transcribed by only the brush. She obviously gained complete mastery over her new medium which incorporated her gifts as a draughtsperson and painter. Her art ticks another box for me as it bridges the gap between fine and decorative art. Sadly, the picture sold way above the estimate and my absentee bid. She undoubtedly had many admirers and followers and was far better known and collected than I had realised.
Beldy was born in 1874 and married to a brother of Somerset Maugham. Her father Heywood Hardy, a painter of animals, taught her the rudiments of art and when she was eight years old Whistler proclaimed, ‘We shall certainly hear of her one day’.
She exhibited at Leicester and Gosvenor Galleries in London and regularly in New York. She also exhibited in Paris, Geneva, Milan, Rome, Turin and Basel, and is represented in the V&A, the Jeu de Plaume, Paris and numerous private and public collections throughout the world.