Margaret Oliver Brown

Margaret Oliver Brown, 1912 - 1990 (verso: Studies of Two Female Heads)

About this artwork

In 1940 and 1942 Brown was a founder member of the New Art Club and its successor the New Scottish Group, alongside Louise Annand and Margaret Morris. This self-portrait dates from this period. In pose, lighting and background, it reflects the fashion plate photography of the day. Brown, is elegantly dressed and smiles coquettishly into the middle distance. She holds a paintbrush, the symbol of her chosen profession, whilst the composition is based on curvilinear form, from the abstract background to her hairstyle and her silhouette. Later works gave way to a more expressionist technique and bolder palette. However, Brown’s painting career was cut short by 1949, because of the onset of severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Margaret Oliver Brown

Margaret Oliver Brown

Margaret Oliver Brown was a fashion illustrator, and commercial artist for local newspapers. Based in Glasgow, she attended classes at the Glasgow School of Art between 1927 and 1941. She worked as Advertising Manager of Arnotts department store from 1930 until her marriage to the teacher William Oliver Brown, a leading figure in the Scottish nationalist movement, in 1936. Brown exhibited alongside the Scottish Colourists, but enjoyed only a brief career because of the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis.