A partial chronology—from Mary Cohen's diaries

My mother, Mary Cohen [29.xi.1910—31.x.1991], trained at the Slade School of Fine Art and painted in various media all her life until her failing eye-sight stopped her.

Some of the paintings on the following pages are of known locations, but for others help with identification would be welcome

All images © The Estate of Mary Cohen, 2008-11

Mougins, 1949, the property of the Estate of Mlle Béatrice Méric (oil).

Exhibited in London at Leicester Galleries Summer and New Year Exhibitions; Royal Academy; New English Art Club; Royal Society of British Artists; Rowland Browse and Delbanco; New Grafton Gallery and the Southover Gallery.

Work in public and private collections in the UK, USA and Switzerland including The National Trust (Fenton House), H R H The Prince of Wales and others.

Works painted in Great Britain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico and Iran.

Subjects: interiors, figures in gardens, landscapes, townscapes, still lifes.

Mostly signed Mary S C, but rarely dated. Not shown to scale.

Go to MSC paintings 1

Studied in Florence [at the art school of Filippo Marfori Savini, 1877-1952] and at the Slade with Sir William Coldstream, Claude Rogers and others. 

July married Lieut-Commander Kenneth Cohen, RN. Honeymoon in the Dolomites and Italy - Castelrotto, Carrezza, Paraggi, Portofino.

South Africa [Simonstown, HMS Dorsetshire].

Carol's nursery, ND. The du Maurier house is in the background,

seen from Chestnut Lodge, Squire's Mount.(pen, watercolour)

Carol born December 31st.

Chestnut Lodge, Squire’s Mount Hampstead.
January: ‘Painted [at] Daphne Charlton’. To Asphodel’s studio - Ruth Collet. 
March: Dieppe ‘draw market place from balcony of old inn with inside courtyard and stairway ... fishmarket’. 
June: Angmering beach huts. 
July: Brittany, Port Manech. Meets Dr Albert Barnes, who gives her his book Art in Painting and offers her a scholarship at Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. In car smash - ankle broken. Back to UK via St Malo. Painting in Euston Road Class, Tuesdays with Ruth Collet, and at Asphodel’s studio. 
December: K away Paris, and Geneva.

Still painting Art school and at Daphne Charlton’s.
April: K to Lausanne; ‘Painted Jo at Asphodel’s’. 
May: ‘Sketched in St James’s Park with Meg Morehead’.
June: ‘With Asphodel to Tower Beach to paint’.
August: Paul’s Bakehouse Court explosion; Dover-Ostende, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Luxemberg to Clervaux, Metz, Nancy, Vosges, Strasbourg, Basel, Berne, Champex, Geneva - meet Asphodel. ‘Serious news in newspapers - Hitler-Stalin pact. Car left behind and luggage. Leave 9.30 pm'. Arrive Paris,                            leave by air, arrive home. Leave for Homely Water [Kenneth's mother's home] with Carol.
September 5: War declared on Nazi Germany; ‘Painted Mother-Bess’.
October 25: K leaves by air from Hendon.
November 28: K telephones from Paris - in London 30th.

Kenneth Cohen, c 1939 (pencil).

No diary [shares house with Merula Guinness?, Kenneth's first cousin].

Minehead, Somerset with visits to London, painting in St James’s Park with Primrose Codrington.

Minehead. Shares house with Betty Coxon, Rufus, Nicky and Clement; Dunkery Beacon; Porlock Weir. Frequent weekends in London.
February: K leaves by air for Middle East; viaIreland, then Lisbon.
March 7: Lagos; 10: Cairo; Ankara; 20: Belgian Congo, Khartoum; 27: Duala (Free French); Beirut, Istanbul, Jerusalem.

Radlett, then St Albans
February 19: ‘Drew Abbey in pen & ink & wash’) then London
May: ’Sketched in Chelsea Hospital Gardens group (pen & wash) ... sketched in Hyde Park ... sketched Little Chattie [Salaman]’. 
June: move to 124 Swan Court; 15-16 ‘K away (Middle East?)’ [Back by 20th]; 26 K took my pictures to Leicester Gallery; 28 - 1 July: Meet Primrose, painting permit; City (painting war damage)
July 9: Leicester Galleries accepted my pictures; 14: Leicester Gallery Private View; RAF men in Leicester Sq.
August: Stay at Michel Salaman’s till mid-September.
October 3: Drew in Carlisle Square; 9: ‘With (Marie-Madeleine) "Madame Villeneuve" to Frognal Grove’; 11: Sending in day, New English; 13: Denis Cohen dinner for Marie-M; 16: New English Art Club accepts my pictures; 18: Sending-in day London Group; 22: Private View, New English.
November 15: ‘Fetch picture (sic) New English’; 23: K leaves for North Africa till 21st; 27: Private View London Group.
December: Marie-Madeleine.

Swan Court, visit Minehead and Michel.
June 28: Fame and Promise exhibition, Leicester Galleries, three paintings shown.
July 23: K arrives back from Normandy. Brought Commander Winney and Colonel André Manuel to supper and 'masses of butter, Port Salut & Camembert!'; 26: painted Carol in oils [age 6½].
Carol? 1944? (oil)

August 25: Paris liberated.
September 2: K leaves for Paris. Back before 14 September.
October 9-22: K in Holland, Brussels and Paris.


Swan Court and Bloomfield Terrace.

February 8: Colin born 3.20 pm; 23, 26: Marie-Madeleine to see Colin.

April  29: K to Brussels and Germany to 6 May.

May 8: VE Day.

September 28: move to BT.


No diary


August 16-17: September K & M to Switzerland with Carol and Colin.

October 14-26 K in Germany [Hamburg].

December 3: K to Paris; 31 K gets CMG [7 years before James Bond!].


Painting model at Primrose’s and with Asphodel. Model was paid 4/6 [22.5p] a time.

July 2: portrait of Carol in Redfern summer show; 20 Painted Emma [her mother] in garden & Garden from dining room.

August: Salcombe, Devon.

October: pictures to Redfern and Delbanco.


February 26-2 April: To France with K, Colin; Mougins, Cannes [chez Marie-Madeleine - see painting at top of this page]; joined by Carol in March.

August: Woolacombe, Devon

September: Mrs Paton arrives.

December 17-23: Colin in Guy’s Hospital [eczema].


July: Coverack, Cornwall.

September 4: Dinner party: Kim Philby, Boxhalls, & ‘Americans’.

December 28: Mother Bess died.            

Subpages (1): MSC paintings 1