Knight, Dame Laura (1877-1970)

In 1926 Laura Knight travelled to Baltimore, America to join her husband Harold Knight who was in the process of completing a series of portrait commissions of the surgeons at John Hopkins hospital. Knight was given permission to draw and paint in the maternity and children’s wards which were racially segregated. There she produced some of the finest portraits of her career, many of black women and children, nurses and patients on the hospital ward. These works show a sensitivity towards the subject that marked Knight out from her contemporary figurative and portrait painters and contributed to her being made the second ever female Associate of the Royal Academy, the following year

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