Work by Susan McEwan :: Poem by Gerda Stevenson

textile art

Rest Time in the Life Class

After a painting of that title by Dorothy Johnston, born Edinburgh, 1892, died Bodelwyddan 1980;artist and teacher, taught at Edinburgh College of Art from 1914 until she married in 1924, and was forced to resign, due to the Marriage Bar; elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, 1962.

From Quines by Gerda Stevenson

Artist’s statement

‘Rest Time in the Life Class’ is a painting by Edinburgh artist, Dorothy Johnstone.

It shows the life model having a brief break during a life class while the students whisper among themselves that their tutor is to be married. At that time, married women were not allowed to teach. Johnstone is making a statement about the situation because, as a consequence of her husband’s appointment in 1933 as head of Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen (now at Robert Gordon’s University) and of the marriage bar in place at the time, she reluctantly gave up her career and her students.