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Jean Dryden Alexander [1911-1994]


[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

ALEXANDER, Jean Dryden [1911–1994; British]

“Priest’s College. Front Garden and Rear. Brentwood, Essex. Summer 1939”


oil on paper / 18.2 inches x 14.6 inches

Alexander’s sketch was never intended for public consumption. Rather, it is the sort of artistic shorthand employed to record a moment for development later, either en plein air or in the studio. One biographical sources places her in the context of British art:

Jean Dryden Alexander was the youngest daughter of watercolourists Robert Graham Dryden Alexander and Effie Alexander. Born in 1911 in Essex, her artistic influence stemmed from her parents and their artist circle of friends, who included Hercules Brabazon Brabazon and Sir George Clausen. The whole family spent as much time as possible painting en plein air around Essex and its coastline. Jean was educated at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham and studied art at Chelmsford Art School (1928-1931). She won a scholarship to the Slade School of Art (1931-1935). Exhibitions Include: The Royal Academy, The New English Art Club, The Society of Women Artists and The Whitechapel Art Gallery.

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