[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
BLUNDELL-NIXON, Kathleen Irene [1895–1988]
watercolor on canvas-backed paper / 11 inches by 14 1/4 inches
Imagine a renowned illustrator of books—more than forty—five of which were written by the artist herself, and yet there is just one internet page devoted to the artist and her career.
British illustrator Kay Nixon lived in India for twenty-five years before returning home. In India she illustrated for the Times of India Press and produced Indian State Railways poster art. Many, if not most, of her works drew from nature, particularly animals, for books with titles like Animal Mothers, Whispers of the Wilderness and The Bushy Tail Family. Her work bears a remarkable kinship to that of John Edwin Noble a generation earlier.
The presence in northwest Iowa of an East Indian drawing by a British artist is evidence of the far-flung connections that existed long before the world-wide web. Some have called it the Victorian internet. In this case it is explained by Mercedes Capshaw, teacher, who spent two years at a school for girls in Poona (now Pune), India, and may have met Nixon while passing through what was then Bombay.