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News & Events - Artist Spotlight - The Barlows

Artist Spotlight - The Barlows
By Louise Irvine 7/12/2017 3:13 PM

The Barlow family was vital to the success of Doulton’s art pottery in the early years. The children of a prosperous bank manager, they were obliged to earn their own living after their father’s sudden death. Hannah enrolled at the Lambeth School of Art, followed by her brother Arthur, and they joined George Tinworth at the emerging Lambeth Studio in 1871. Hannah incised animal designs into the soft stoneware clay while Arthur specialized in carving flowing foliate designs. Florence, the youngest daughter of the Barlow family, followed her siblings to Doulton’s in 1873 and an older sister, Lucy, worked briefly for the studio in the 1880s.

Hannah barlow young      

Arthur suffered from poor health throughout his life and died at the age of 34 in 1879 so his work is harder to find. Hannah and Florence were celebrated as the first lady artists at Lambeth and featured in popular ladies’ magazines of the 1880s such as The Queen and The Lady. They came to an arrangement around 1878 whereby Hannah concentrated on our four-legged friends and Florence on the feathered varieties. 

Her studies of birds were executed in raised slip using Doulton’s new pâte-sur-pâte technique and led to her nickname “Birdie Barlow”. Lucy assisted her younger sisters, producing foliate borders for their animal and bird designs before leaving the studio to become housekeeper for the unmarried members of the Barlow family.

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