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1876 – 1919

Portrait of Mrs Victor Sly
1914–15
Oil on canvas
74.5 x 64.5 cm
Purchased by Wakefield Corporation and the Wakefield Permanent Art Fund, 1938. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones

 

Gilman was a member of the Camden Town Group, which formed in 1911 through a shared interest in modern urban subjects: ‘music halls, hansom cabs, back gardens and even back bedrooms’, as one critic noted. ‘Whatever else these young artists may or may not be doing, they are treating art as if it had something to do with contemporary life.’ Their work therefore aligned perfectly with the ambitions of Wakefield’s collecting policy.

They also shared a distinctive style, working with dry, thick, encrusted paint, applied in broken touches. Dora Sly was Gilman’s neighbour and regularly sat for the group.