Today, 9 May 2018, MGallery and the National Portrait Gallery launched the Rebel Women Trail, a journey tracking ten contemporary women’s thoughts on historical women. The trail forges a path (through the overgrowth of old white guy portraiture), designating space in various gallery rooms to honour women who have impacted society through their work and passions.
Miranda Hart and Sarah Pascoe reflect on Beatrix Potter and Marie Stopes while Dame Sarah Mullally, first female Bishop of London, gives thoughts on Mary Seacole. The exhibition highlights the enduring influence the Gallery’s female sitters have on today’s pioneering women.
Walk the Rebel Women Trail at the National Portrait Gallery
MGallery and the National Portrait Gallery hosted an exclusive breakfast preview this morning 9, May of the Rebel Women Trail that consisted of a short in-conversation with Rosie Broadley, Senior Curator, 20th-Century Collections and Karelle Lamouche, Senior Vice President for Sales & Marketing at AccorHotels. Additional inspirational speakers contributing to the discussion with personal anecdotes included acclaimed film director Lorna Tucker, academy award winning costumer designer Jenny Beavan and Nishma Robb, marketing director at Google.
The portraits included in the Rebel Women trail are of prominent women from diverse backgrounds such as writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter, Queen Elizabeth I, feminist and women’s suffrage activist Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, British Pop art movement founder Pauline Boty, and former professional tennis player Sarah Virginia Wade.
The full cast of characters are as follows…
Queen Elizabeth I, by Unknown continental artist, circa 1575
Mary Wollstonecraft, by John Opie, 1797
Beatrix Potter, by Delmar Banner, 1938
Pauline Boty, by Pauline Boty, circa 1958
Margot Fonteyn, by Maurice Lambert, 1956 Photograph
Marie Stopes, by Sir Gerald Kelly, 1953
Henry Fawcett; Dame Millicent Fawcett, by Ford Madox Brown, 1872
Mary Seacole, by Albert Charles Challen, 1869
Virginia Wade, by David Wynne, 1972
Olive Elaine Morris, by Neil Kenlock, January 1973
To guide their expedition, National Portrait Gallery trailblazers will receive a booklet that shares quotations from inspirational women on their historic heroes.
‘Mary Wollstonecraft has been a huge inspiration in my life and my writing. She was an original thinker and a courageous trail-blazer – has there been another treasure-hunting single mum Enlightenment philosopher on the high seas? There are so many quotes to choose from but this one is hard to beat: “I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves” from her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, of 1792.’ – Bee Rowlatt, writer and Chair of the Mary on the Green campaign