Unmounted (ref: 4789)
Watercolour over pen and ink, 10 1/4 x 16 in. (26 x 40.5 cm.)
Watercolour over pen and ink, 10 1/4 x 16 in. (26 x 40.5 cm.)
Oak Cottage, (purchased by Charles Mahoney just beforre the Second World War), was Dorothy's first experience of living in an old house in the country and owning her own home. For both artists it became an endless source of inspiration and the setting for much of their work
Dorothy Mahoney (ne Bishop) entered the RCA School of Design in 1924
with Book Illustration as her principal subject. From 1926-28 she took
lettering and illumination as her principal subject under Edward
Johnston, to whom, during this period, she became student-assistant.
Her subsidiary subjects were wood engraving, pottery, bookbinding and
embroidery. It is likely that this rare un- numbered wood engraving
dates to this period.
In 1929 she was appointed Deputy Assistant to Edward Johnston, giving lectures, demonstrations, and classes in his absence.
In 1940 when the RCA was evacuated to Ambleside in the Lake District she became better acquainted with fellow teacher Charles Mahoney whom she married the following year.
Both had in common an unbridled enthusiasm for plants - a passion which before the war Mahoney had shared with Edward Bawden, Geoffrey Rhoades, John Nash and Evelyn Dunbar, the latter with whom he published Gardener's Choice in 1937. The correspondence between this circle is full of exchanges about the discovery, nurturing and drawing of new potential subjects facilitated by sending to each otherplant cuttings sent by post.
Oak Cottage, in Wrotham Kent, where Dorothy and Charles lived after the war and for the rest of their lives, was a source of immense inspiration for both artists. Once the garden that they planted had matured Charles especially rarely went elsewhere for inspiration.
This design shows a walled garden amongst Kentish orchards such as those around her home in Wrotham. This piece may have been inteneded as the frontispiece for a book to be written in collaboration with her husband Charles Mahoney. Her skill in illumination and penmanship is shown in the precise delineation of the tulip petals.
Elizabeth Bulkeley, the artist's daughter, ( note to Paul Liss December 2010).
A small selection of work by Dorothy Mahoney is on display at The British Museum.
CHRONOLOGY: DOROTHY MAHONEY
(previously DOROTHY BISHOP), written by the artist's daughter.
Sept 3; Born Dorothy Louise Bishop in Wednesbury, Staffordshire.;
1902;Eldest child of William and Louise Booth Bishop.
1908-18; Attended St Bartholomew’s Girls’ School, Wednesbury.
Latterly became pupil-assistant.
1918-24; West Bromwich School of Art.
1920; Awarded local scholarship.
1924; Awarded a Staffordshire County Scholarship to attend the Royal College of Art, South Kensington, London. Entered School of Design
with Book Illustration as principal subject.
1926-8 Took Lettering and Illumination as principal subject under
Edward Johnston. Became student-assistant to Edward Johnston.
Subsidiary subjects: wood engraving, pottery, bookbinding, embroidery.
1929 Appointed Deputy Assistant to Edward Johnston at
The Royal College of Art;
later given charge of classes in his absences.
Gave lectures, demonstrations. Undertook responsibilities involving both
staff and students.
1927-8 Instructor in London County Council classes for women, Brixton and Halford
Road; various Arts and Crafts.
1928 Became Tutor in Woolwich Polytechnic School of Art under Herbert Buckley
and Louis Prince. Heber Matthews was Tutor in Pottery and became a friend.
1932 Made two large decorative panels from panels of embroidered work by girls in her class at Woolwich Technical School; exhibited these at the Victoria and
Albert Museum and in Stockholm.
1934 Recommended by Professsor Hubert Worthington to execute a series of
lettered and illuminated panels on vellum constitiuting the Memorial to the
15th, 16th, 19th and 20th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers (c. 2000 names)
in Sacred Trinity Church, Salford.
1936 Wrote ‘Index’ on vellum for Manchester Cathedral.
1936 Appointed as a result of a competition held by Society of Scribes and Illuminators to execute a series of lettered panels for the Royal Society of British Architects.
1937 Lettered and illuminated a vellum panel War Memorial for All Saints Church, Hocking.
1938-9 Wrote 2 sets of articles on ‘Broad Pen Lettering’ for Arts and Crafts Education (magazine).
1929-39 Spent a total of almost 2 years travelling in Europe during summer holidays, mainly in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy, visiting art galleries and
Visited studios of artists and craftsmen (Worpswede).
Visited the bookbinding workshop and school of Prof. Otto Dorfner of Weimar.
1938 Given 6 months’ leave of absence by London County Council for intensive study in dress design at the Reiman School, Westminster.
1939-53 (Now official!) Tutor in charge of Calligraphy at Royal College of Art after retirement of Edward Johnston.
1940 Evacuated to Ambleside, Westmoreland, with Royal College of Art (Salutation Hotel).
1941 Married the painter and muralist Charles Mahoney in Ambleside.
1941 Made studies of wild flowers from Ambleside.
March 21 Birth of a daughter, Elizabeth, in Wolverhampton.
1945 Moved to Oak Cottage, Wrotham, Kent with her husband and daughter.
1947 Decorative map of Cirencester for the Fleece Hotel – vellum panel.
1948 Book of Remembrance for Brathay Church, Ambleside (Decorative frontispiece of church).
1949 Lettered and illuminated a presentation to Professor Sir Ian Heilbron, DSO, FRC, at Imperial College
1951 Festival of Britain – cover for leaflet.
1951 Cheltenham College Honours Book (1841-1950).
1951 French Carol ‘Quelle est cette odeur agreable’ written on vellum for Lord Cholmondeley (Now at Victoria and Albert Museum).
1952 Lettered a Roll of Honour for Institute of Chartered Accontants War Memorial.
January Initiation of Benefactors’ Book for Whitworth Art Gallery
1952 (originally conceived as panels)
1952 Lettered and illuminated a book presented to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth by Shrewsbury School.
1953 Calligraphy teaching at Royal College of Art discontinued by Robin Darwin.
May Victoria and Albert Museum purchases 2 works by DM.
1953 Books completed for Manchester Cathedral Memorial Chapel.
1953 First of 4 Panels of Provosts for King’s College Chapel.
1953 Commission for 2 volumes for Roll of Honour for Fiji
1957 Decorative map of Bayliss Jones & Bayliss Ltd of Wolverhampton
1961 Book for Philip Hofer ‘Some English Garden Flowers’. Lettered text
opposite full-page plant illustration. Houghton Library, Harvard, USA.
1961 St Clement Danes, Strand. RAF Book of Remembrance for World War II –
inscribed 13,500 names beginning with ‘C’ or ‘D’.
1964 Excerpts from Cobbett’s writings for Marilyn Davis.
1965 Decorative map on vellum of St Mary’s College, Cheltenham.
1968 St Felix School, Southwold; Memorial book, map frontispiece.
1970 Vellum book lettered and illuminated by DM and bound by Sydney Cockerell.
Post World War II Roll of Honour for Royal Engineers (St Paul’s Cathedral)
1971 Panel presented to Heather Child by Society of Scribes and Illuminators.
(Wordsworth poem with Lakeland flowers).
1981 The Craft of Calligraphy published by Pelham Books Ltd.
1982 Poem by Dylan Thomas for Jeanne Smith – vellum ?panel.
1983 Forced to stop work on Whitworth Art Gallery Benefactor’s book for health reasons.
Jan Decorative Alphabet for Michael Taylor based on uncials.
May Died after a major stroke.
NOTE DM also exhibited with the SSI and Society of Designer Craftsmen.
After leaving the Royal College of Art she taught calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and Ravensthorpe School of Art. After ‘retirement’ at age 65 she taught 2 evening classes a week at the Stanhope Institute, Queen’s Square, London until she was in her late 70s.