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Violet Mimpriss
(1895 — 1987)

Born in Dulwich, London in 1895, Violet Mimpriss showed an early aptitude for painting. In 1914 Mimpriss exhibited her first painting, a portrait, at the Royal Academy at the age of just 19. The onset of the First World War halted the artist’s professional career whilst Mimpriss served in a Voluntary Aid Detachment of St George’s Hospital, London. Following the War, the artist was awarded the prestigious Landseer scholarship to attend the Royal Academy Schools, where she studied between the years of 1917 to 1923. During her studies Mimpriss was awarded the Arthur Hacker Silver Medal for her work in the field of portraiture. Her reputation as a portraitist continued after her graduation, whereupon the artist found work painting portraits and miniatures in her native London.


In 1930 Mimpriss travelled to Kenya where she remained for much of her career. During the Second World War, the artist was commissioned to represent the efforts to support the Allies in East Africa, particularly near her home in Mombassa. Following the War, Mimpriss continued to depict her adopted home of Kenya in several watercolour studies. The artist returned to England in the late 1960s where she became interested in pottery, and explored combining this medium with her talent for painting. Her highly detailed ceramic miniatures, often adapted to be used as pendants and bracelets, are among her most celebrated works. The artist exhibited at the Royal Academy numerous times throughout her career, and also participated in exhibitions at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, the Glasgow Institute, and the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. The artist died in 1987. Her work is represented in several collections, including that of the Imperial War Museum.