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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Street scene with figures
Date: ca. 1918
Medium: Pencil, pen and ink
Dimensions: 15 x 22 inches (38.1 x 55.9 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the generosity of Professor M. H. Abrams
Object Number: 99.037
Label Text: With a 2016 retrospective at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, Winifred Knights’s status in the art world has been rekindled. A standout student at the Slade School in London during the 1910s, she was the first woman to win the prestigious scholarship in decorative painting to the British School at Rome, where she remained for five years.

Our drawing represents an earlier period, when Knights was transforming from student to professional. Traumatized by witnessing an explosion at a TNT factory in early 1917, she took a break from school to spend time at her father’s cousin’s home in Worcestershire, which is most likely where this was made. Although not a completed composition, the ghostly sketched-out background gives us a strong sense of what she was trying to accomplish: a busy rural market town, with some personalities distinctly encapsulated with a few deft lines, enjoying a day by the River Severn. (“Drawing the Line: 150 Years of European Artists on Paper," curated by Nancy E. Green and presented at the Johnson Museum January 20–June 10, 2018)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.