Land Girl artist Evelyn Dunbar’s paints draw crowds at T W Gaze’s Diss auction

A series of paintings made by a war artist famous for documenting the role of women in the second world war exceeded their starting prices at a Norfolk auction.

The pictures, created by Reading-born painter Evelyn Dunbar, were expected to fetch between �100 and �500 at the auction at T W Gaze auctioneers in Roydon Road, Diss.

But five of the eight lots sold for over �1,000 as bids flocked in for the rare works.

A spokesman for T W Gaze said: 'She was a high-quality artist, who was born in 1906 and died in the 1960s. She was well respected and had works in the national galleries.' She is known for being the only salaried female artist among the painters and sculptors employed during the second world war by the War Artists' Advisory Committee and she produced war art showing women's involvement in the war, particularly Land Girls in the Women's Land Army.

She attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls, but her first foray into artistry was illustrating children's stories before she started working as a muralist.


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An enthusiastic gardener, she helped to illustrate the book the Gardeners' Choice and provided motifs for other publications, including The Scots Weekend and Guest and Wayfarer.

In 1942, she married RAF flying officer Roger Folley and in 1956 she was commissioned to paint two large commemmorative panels for the college library at Bletchley Park Training College in Buckinghamshire.

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She continued to paint portraits and landscapes up until her death aged 54 and her work is on display at the Imperial War Museum, Tate Britain and Manchester Arts Gallery among other places.

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