Completed Portraits: British 20th C 53 Could this be a portrait of Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman?

Topic: Subject or sitter

Is any more is known about Miss Hardman? Could this be the artist and mural painter Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman (1890–1972)?

Alex Buck, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. 'Miss Hardman' has been identified beyond reasonable doubt as the artist Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman (1890–1972), as now recorded in the description on Art UK.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


The entire collection went into deep storage after the closure of the gallery in 2020, so unfortunately no physical inspection of the painting can take place.

This is as much as I’ve had time to do to start things off, but this article on the Royal Collection Trust website suggests that Philip Connard and Winifred Hardman may have worked together in the late 1920s when he was commissioned to paint a series of murals at Windsor Castle. Is there any evidence that they knew one another five years or so earlier?

The work was exhibited at the RA in 1922 as no. 33, 'Miss Hardman'. Winifred EB Hardman was then 32 years old. From a quick look at the BNA, a report in the ‘Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer’ of Thursday 11th May 1922 refers to Connard's painting as a 'tour de force' but gives no further details on the sitter.

Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman entry on ‘Suffolk Artists’.

Philip Connard entry on ‘Artist Biographies: British and Irish Artists of the 20th century’.

Jacinto Regalado,

Winifred Hardman would have been 32 in 1922, and the title implies the sitter was unmarried. I believe WH was unmarried at her death.

Andy Mabbett,

The work was depicted in a supplement to the Illustrated London News of Saturday, 6 May 1922, in a feature called "The Best of the pictures - Royal Academy 1922". It was reproduced in monochrome, at quarter-page size, but with only its title and the artist's name as a caption, and no further details.

Kieran Owens,

A portrait entitled "Miss Freda Hardman", by Philip Connard, was exhibited the RA's 1948 exhibition, painted in "a quiet scheme of grey-blue-pink." (The Connoisseur). It was catalogue no. 49. Could this be a different portrait of the same sitter?

Kieran Owens,

Freda could, of course, be a shortened version of Winifred. If so, it suggests that the artist and sitter knew each other on very friendly terms. The sitter in this portrait certainly looks like someone in the early to mid-30s. The 1948 portrait could have been painted in the 1920s as well.

Andy Mabbett,

n art dealer's page [1] says of Hardman:

"She studied from 1913 till 1921 at St, John’s School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools, winning the Armitage bronze and silver medals for perspective. Here she was a member of the New Autumn Group of 21 artists formed in November 1925 around St. John’s Wood and exhibiting together."

Artist Biographies [2] says of that group:

"This rather obscure Group was formed in November 1925 and comprised 21 members. Its inaugural exhibition was held at the Gieves Galleries in Old Bond Street, London during the 2nd fortnight of that year. Members who were located in the area around St. John's Wood, were engaged in almost every kind of decorative art form encompassing, book illustrations, poster design, miniatures, woodcuts, stone, marble, stained glass and theatrical costumes. Members included Florence Asher, Violet Barnewall, Lorna Burgoyne, Dorothy Burroughs, Dora Clarke, Cyril Cole, Mabel D. Cole, Sefton Fish, Claude Flight, Winifred Hardman, Hilda Hechle, Adrian Hill, Reginald Higgins, Kirkland Jamieson, Reginald Leefe, Edith Lipscombe, Violet Baber Mimpriss, Miss G. Parry-Jones, Marian Peart and Eric Schilsky. Drawing & Design Magazine and Studio International issues for November 1925 printed articles on the Group. As yet I have not found any evidence of a 2nd exhibition."



Stephen Whittle, Curator and Manager of The Atkinson is I think organising a Connard exhibition there for 2024. He might well have looked into the identity. Certainly worth asking.

Andy Mabbett,

The article:

Stephens, Jessica Walker: The paintings of Philip Connard, A.R.A. (June 1923) 'The Studio', No. 363 pp 303-309 [1]

sadly has nothing on this work. It does though conclude with a low-resolution (in the linked scan) copy fo a monochrome photograph of a "Nude Study", which is potentially (but far far certainly) the same model.

[1] via

Kieran Owens,

In the year 1923, aged 33, Winifred Hardman exhibited for the first time at the RA, with a watercolour entitled "Florence from Under the Windows of the Uffizi". ( 760). Connard, who was an ARA between 1918, aged 43, and 1925, aged 50, also featured in the show, and had exhibited there in 1919, 1920 and 1921. She having been trained at the RA Schools from the 27th February 1913 (aged 23) to December 1921 (aged 31), there is every possibility that their paths crossed in that place during the period of her studentship.

Marcie Doran,

The 1921 Census (Findmypast) shows that Philip Connard and his wife Mary lived at “The Little Gothics”, East Bergholt, Suffolk. The only “Miss Hardman” in that town in the England and Wales Register 1939 was the nun Margaret Hardman. I haven’t ordered her record from 1921 because she was born in July 1869.

Alex Buck,

Connard certainly had a London address in Chelsea when he was working on the murals at Windsor c. 1929.
I note that the RA holds some of Connard's papers, particularly from the 1920s, so I may see if Winifred Hardman features in them.

Marcie Doran,

The owner of a family tree on Ancestry has kindly let me know that Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman was indeed known in her family as “Aunt Freda” (Kieran 06/09/2023 20:39, 06/09/2023 20:57).

Winifred’s sister Victoria Hardman (later Gorringe) was known as “Queenie”. Their mother Anne Eliza Hardman (née Catterall) was known as “Annie”.

According to the ‘Hastings and St Leonards Observer’ of 13 November 1926, the trio sent flowers to the funeral of Mrs. H. T. Simmons of Bexhill.

Kieran Owens,

Marcie, could you ask the Ancestry tree owner if they recognise this portrait as being of their "Aunt Freda", and also if they might have a contemporary photograph of her for comparison?

Kieran Owens,

From a search of the BNA it appears that the only exhibition by the New Autumn Group was the above-mentioned one from November/December 1925.

Marcie Doran,

Unfortunately, the Ancestry tree owner never met her “Aunt Freda”, Kieran. Yes, she will try to obtain a photo.

Kieran Owens,

In J. G. Paul Delaney's "Philip Douglas Maclagan: A Brief Biography...." (1982) there is the following reference:

"One of the girls who had accompanied Bay to Venice, Winifred Hardman, kept a cottage and boat there. She was a large girl, very fair, with a loud voice, who had done many extraordinary things, including some whaling....". Anyone with a copy of the book might see if there is more to this description.

The "Bay" in question was the painter Dorothea Frances Blake (1895-1982), who would later become Maclagan's wife. Although five years younger than Hardman, she was educated at the RA Schools between 1917 and 1922, which included some of the same years during which Hardman also attended. One might presume that their friendship was established at that time.

Hardman's connection to Italy might explain the showing of her "Florence from Under the Windows of the Uffizi" at the 1923 RA exhibition.

Another, slightly older, artist friend and fellow RA Schools student (from 1912) of Hardman was A. Dorothy Cohen (1887-1960). The two executed a mural at St. Peters Church, Hammersmith, London.

Hardman appears to have been well off during her life, leaving an estate valued at £128,575 (c.£1,810,700 today) at the time of her death in 1972.

Jacinto Regalado,

That physical description, Kieran, is in accord with our portrait.

Kieran Owens,

I agree. From the details presented I cannot see how this is not Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman (1890–1972). I hope that Alex Buck agrees with the evidence offered to date.

Marcie Doran,

Here’s a snippet from ‘The British Journal of Photography’ (1948) that describes (49) at the R.A. that year as “a poster-like essay in two dimensions” (Kieran 06/09/2023 20:39 and 06/09/2023 20:57).

In her will (extracts attached), Freda mentioned a work “by Philip Cannard [sic]”. The document shows that a friend had agreed to look after Freda’s cat upon her decease.

Osmund Bullock,

Violet Mason nee MImpriss (1895-1987) was an artist and close friend of Winifred's from the RA Schools (Violet was there from 1917-23). PO directories show them sharing the studio at 44 Redcliffe Road (69 Cathcart Studios) from 1925 until 1932 (likely c1924-31, allowing for publication lead time), and both Winifred & Violet exhibited at the RA from there during the period. In Dec 1925 they booked a trip together to the Canary Islands, but for some reason cancelled at the last minute (their names are deleted on the passenger list). Violet moved to Kenya in 1931 after meeting and marrying a First World War hero there during a visit to friends, being joined in Africa by her sister after his death in 1946. She returned to England in 1969, dying in Dorset in Jan 1987. More detail here:

What is most interesting, however, is that Philip Connard also painted a portrait of her, exhibited at the RA in 1920, two years before his portrait of 'Miss Hardman'...or I should say "his first portrait...", as Connard in fact exhibited another one of (presumably) Winifred in 1926! See attached. I write 'presumably', as I think there is an outside chance one or both of the two 'Miss Hardman' portraits, one of them ours, could have been of Freda's elder sister Victoria, known as 'Queenie' (see Marcie's post of 07/09/2023 16:11).

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Osmund Bullock,

Sorry, I should have clarified that Violet Mason is a legatee in Freda Hardman's Will (shown us by Marcie, at least in part).

Marcie, could you tell us the date the Will was made, please, and also if there were any later codicils? It's just the dates I'm interested in, not any further content - I know how reluctant you are to share full documents.

Marcie Doran,

That is fascinating research, Osmund.

Her will was dated 8 March 1972 and there were no codicils.

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks, Marcie. I was surprised by the 'Cannard' spelling mistake, and wondered if it implied they didn't know each other that well. But as the Will was dated just 6 weeks before her death (aged nearly 82), she probably dictated it and wasn't well enough to check it for minor errors.

Kieran, I managed to cheat the the relevant parts of the Maclagan biography out of Google Books snippets (attached). It adds little except to tell us that Freda's cottage (and a separate studio) were in Bosham (near Chichester) rather than Italy - Bosham was where she died, so it's quite likely she had a bolt-hole there throughout her life. It also implies that her visit to Venice with Dorothea ('Bay') Blake mentioned in your extract was in 1925, so her Florence painting (exhib RA 1923) must have been from an earlier trip. I think she was even better-off than you suggest: you've probably used the simple retail price index for your comparison, but this is less useful than it seems for all sorts of reasons. I tend to use an average wage comparator, which gives a figure of nearly £2.9m for her estate today...and you can argue for something larger**, especially if it included a property in Bosham: a two up/two down fisherman's cottage there in 1972 would likely have cost you well under £10K - today it would be at least half a million.

**Trying to compare historical wealth is notoriously tricky, but this website addresses it better than most:

Osmund Bullock,

Hmmm, that's puzzling - they claim theirs is a more inclusive calculator than one based just on RPI, but then further down under 'Disclaimer' say "calculations based on the retail price index may not always be appropriate...", and indeed suggest going to for alternatives. Anyway, though it's an important subject and worth discussing (email?), I think we'd better leave it here.

Ditto, really, the snippet-cheat, however proud I am of it. The truth is it's so convoluted and time-consuming it would literally be quicker to take the tube to the BL (and back) and photograph the pages - I persevere with it more as a hacking challenge than a practicality. But If you still want to know, email me!

Incidentally - well, actually not incidentally at all - the book was a *great* find.

From an email from John P. Mahoney:

'I have photos of Winifred B. Hardman, British painter, and I can confirm that the painting under discussion is truly Miss Hardman.'

I'll help John to sign into Art Detective, as I'm away from my desk until Monday.

Osmund Bullock,

That's excellent news, Marion...unless, of course, Winifred looked very much like her elder sister Victoria ('Queenie').

I only ask because in the convention of the time (though by the early 1920s not consistent or universal), 'Miss [surname]' implies the only or eldest daughter, while any younger ones would be 'Miss [given name] [surname]', especially in formal settings. In his RA listings (which are often very formal), Connard's usage is uncertain - the 'Miss Mimpriss' of his 1920 exhibit was indeed the elder of two sisters, so formally correct. And why did he go for 'Miss Freda Hardman' in 1948? If it was because the convention was outdated by then, this implies that he was following convention in the 1920s. Of course it's always possible that in the '20s Connard was unaware that Freda had an elder sister - or that he didn't really know or care about the minutest details of the rules, but wanted a degree of formality because he didn't know her that well.

On reflection I think something like the last is right, and I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. I can see only one 'Miss first name/second name' in all his RA exhibiting, Miss Anne Finlay in 1944...and the previous year he had listed (presumably) the same person as just 'Anne Finlay'. The truth is that his portrait titles were probably pretty arbitrary, and no firm conclusion can or should be drawn from their precise form, except inasmuch as they may reflect degrees of intimacy.

But if Mr Mahoney has any pictures of Victoria/Queenie as well, it might be an idea to check...

[PS I should add that there is evidence that Victoria may have been part of the circle of friends in the 1920s, though it's a little uncertain.]

Osmund Bullock,

I've also just realised, belatedly, the significance of Marcie's mention of a cat in Freda's Will (11/09/2023 13:28). There is, as everyone but me will have noted, a cat in the portrait...and though obviously a different one, cat people usually stay cat people.

From John P. Mahoney:

'The photo is of British artist Winifred B. Hardman who had visited and painted Edward Heron-Allen at his estate, Large Acres, Selsey. I believe she visited at least twice. Heron-Allen was an English polymath, known for his work in the field of Foraminifera. Hardman produced an oil portrait of Heron-Allen c. 1920 in his science library. While she was visiting, Sir Ray Lankester was in attendance. Hardman also painted a landscape watercolor and signed it in Heron-Allen's Visitor's book. There are other B/W photos.'

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Kieran Owens,

Unless her elder sister Victoria 'Queenie' looked exactly like Winifred, I would suggest that John P. O'Mahoney's photo provides compelling evidence that this portrait is of W. E. B. Hardman, aged c.32. On the basis of her will (thanks, Marcie) the cat also helps with the identification. The attached composite convinces me for the moment.

Kieran Owens,

Regarding Philip Connard's submissions to the Royal Academy's annual exhibitions, their "Chronicle 250" is confusingly and inadequately indexed. A search in the alphabetical listing under "C" suggests that Philip Connard exhibited only in the following years:

1900, 1901, 1903, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957 and 1959 (as "the late")

A search for "Connard", however, reveals, though again inadequately, that he exhibited in the following additional years:

1919, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1950.

An actual trawl through every catalogue index for the years between his first submission in 1900 and his death in 1958, plus the posthumous showing of works in 1959, reveals that he exhibited in all of the following years from the following addresses, as exactly recorded:

23, Musgrave Crescent, Fulham - 1900, 1901

43, Cheney Walk - 1903

17a, Whitehead's Grove, Chelsea - 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922

The Old Court, Whitehead's Grove, Chelsea - 1923

The Old Court, 17a, Whitehead's Grove, Chelsea - 1924

17a, Whitehead's Grove, Chelsea - 1925, 1926.

Old Court, 17a, Whitehead's Grove, Chelsea - 1927, 1928, 1929

7, Cranley Gardens, S.W. - 1930, 1931

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1932, 1933

Cholmondeley Lodge, Cholmondeley Walk, Richmond, Surrey - 1934

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945

Cholmondeley Lodge, Cholmondeley Walk, Richmond, Surrey - 1946

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950

Cholmondeley Lodge, Cholmondeley Walk, Richmond, Surrey - 1951

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1952

Cholmondeley Lodge, Cholmondeley Walk, Richmond, Surrey - 1953

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1954

No works shown in 1955

Cholmondeley Lodge, Richmond, Surrey - 1956, 1957

No works shown in 1958

Six works posthumously shown in 1959

The conclusion on this analysis is that Philip Connard exhibited for many more years than the RA's own "Chronicle 250" website would suggest. This is a disappointing revelation as it means that anyone researching an artist's contribution to their annual exhibition has to examine every catalogue and cannot rely on the incompetently archived details for every artist and work shown. Someone at the RA needs to sort the database out if it is to be of any easy future use to serious researchers. Otherwise, many artists and their works will be missed.

Between 1923 and 1959, Connard's and Hardman's works were exhibited at the RA in a few similar years, suggesting that they might well have known each other over a significantly long period of time.

Jacinto Regalado,

Based on the available evidence, I think our portrait must be assumed to be of Winifred Hardman unless or until proven otherwise.

Osmund Bullock,

Kieran, Chronicle 250's deficiencies have been evident (and mentioned) here several times in the past. It was useful until the RA published their own catalogues online, but I've barely used it since then. With a rare name like Connard it's fairly straightforward to do an 'all fields' search on the RA site ( for the name over all of them, as I think you've done - and with great diligence!

Even quicker, though, might have been to check the listings for Connard in Graves' RA Contributors Vol.2 for pre-1905 ( , and then move on to 'Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905-70' Vol. 2 for the rest ( The first four volumes of the latter (of six - up to 'Lawl') are now available on, though you need to 'borrow' them for an hour at a time (and I think must be registered). I hope Vols 5 & 6 appear soon.

Actually I posted an image of Connard's listing in the 1905-70 book here a week or so (11/09/2023 15:45), but you must have missed it.

Osmund Bullock,

I completely accept that Freda is circumstantially more likely than Queenie, and specifically said "...unless, of course, Winifred looked very much like her elder sister Victoria ('Queenie')"; I simply suggested that if by any chance Mr Mahoney also had a photograph of Victoria, it might be as well to check. Unfortunately the circumstances of the photograph suggest it's unlikely he has. Age-wise I'd say that a 34/35 year-old sitter (Queenie) is just as likely as one still 31 (Freda).

I also specifically acknowledged the cat evidence when I wrote "cat people usually stay cat people", and in the absence of a photo of her sister, we must of course assume it to be Freda (though one might wish for a slightly higher-res scan).

Kieran Owens,

Osmund, many thanks for the 1905-1970 RA Exhibitors link. I was previously unaware of it, though the "borrowing" aspect is a bit tedious. I will get the hang of it, no doubt.

Although Mr. O'Mahoney's scan is a little blurry, I think that the small group of hair strands falling down on to the sitter's forehead in this portrait is also present in the photograph, both, it seems, emerging from a distinctively dark patch or roots. Perhaps a photo of Victoria "Queenie" will be forthcoming so as to allow for a convincing comparison.

John Mahoney has very kindly replied:

'I have other photos of Winifred and also a nice small watercolor from her stay at Large Acres (attached). I can do more photo manipulation if needed. I do not know Victoria/"Queenie" or have any photos.'

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Kieran Owens,

Forgive me, Mr. Mahoney, I have been incorrectly adding an O' to your surname. If you have any other photos of Winifred, it would be useful to see if there can be seen on her right hand that large and conspicuous ring.

Osmund Bullock,

The date of 1921 is very useful, as it is likely to be pretty much when our portrait was painted - the deadline for submissions to the 1922 RA Summer Exhibition was 27th March. I was a bit concerned at what looked like a shorter haircut (esp. the back) in the first photo we saw, but one of the new ones shows it was longer and pulled back into a bun. She does perhaps look a bit plumper of face in our portrait, but not so much as to worry me seriously.

I hesitate to ask more of Mr Mahoney, who has given us so much, but if there's any chance of a higher-resolution scan or digital snap of one or more of the photos, that would be most welcome - I think the pair at the bottom might be the most helpful.

Marcie Doran,

My contact on Ancestry (07/09/2023 16:11 ) and her family have gone to great lengths to find images of Freda to assist the discussion. The first image is of Freda. My contact wrote: “Aunt Freda was very young in this photo - probably her early 20s - and I’m pretty certain this was taken during the war years”.

The second image shows Freda with her sister “Queenie” and an unknown woman who is too young to be Annie Hardman. My contact wrote: “… we think she might be their Cousin Irene (as she was always referenced) with whom the girls were very close throughout their lives”. (Kieran 18/09/2023 21:16, Osmund 19/09/2023 03:46)

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, very well done, Marcie - and many thanks to your family contact for the work they've put into this. I am wholly convinced by the first photograph of Freda in uniform (of which more in a second): to me it without question shows the same person as in our portrait - even the slightly cocked angle at which she holds her head way echoes that in the portrait. If she and Queenie had been identical twins there might still be room for doubt, but they were not and in my view there isn't.

I am puzzled by the second (group) photograph: to be honest I find it hard to believe that the woman captioned as Freda is the same person. Most of her facial features and their relative positions on the face seem rather different; and as the three women look to me to be wearing Edwardian blouses and hairstyles, I suspect the photo pre-dates that of Freda in uniform. I think the latter can be dated with some confidence to 1917-18 - and if it has been cropped, and a full version that shows more of her uniform is available (Marcie?), one can be even more certain. The badge on her hat is that of the RFC (Royal Flying Corps), which technically she could or should not have worn - however, the information given in this discussion on the excallent Great War Forum explains why this probably happened frequently in the case of members of the WAAC who served on RFC stations:

I have so far been unable to find any official information about Freda's WW1 service, but army lists 1939-45 show she was an officer in the ATS throughout WW2.

Marcie Doran,

I’m confident that the group photo does show Freda and Queenie, Osmund. The woman who provided it knew Freda very well and often stayed with her.

The photo in uniform is as provided.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, I'm sure it's as you received it - I just wondered if it was cropped (as it seems to be) before being sent to you. As to the group one, I remain baffled. Does your informant have any idea of its date - and does she think it is later or earlier than the one in uniform?

Re the uniform, though firm evidence is elusive, Freda may have been a member of the Women's Legion (founded by Lady Londonderry) rather than the officially-raised WAAC - both organisations provided driver-mechanics and clerks as well as more basic domestic workers for various army units including the RFC, and both seem to have had (at least in earlier years) hats similar to the one worn by Freda. Here is a photograph from Autumn 1917 of a Royal Flying Corps woman driver, apparently from the WL, who is wearing the same sort of hat and (from what we can see in our photo of Freda) perhaps the same uniform:

The WAAC was not raised until the spring of 1917, but the attached newspaper story shows that some Women's Legion drivers were attached to the RFC as early as the autumn of 1916. We can thus expand slightly the possible date range of Freda's uniform photo: it must be between Sept 1916 & April 1918 (when the RFC became part of the new RAF).

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Marcie Doran,

I’ve imposed enough on kind strangers, Osmund.

Osmund Bullock,

I quite understand, Marcie; and with Freda's appearance in uniform a wholly convincing match, I feel we don't really need anything else. I just thought the family might be interested in knowing more about her WWI service.

Andrew Sutherland,

Few years ago I saw two Hardman portraits in Sydney (one of Queen Elizabeth and one of King Phillip) it was a big surprise as I had no idea she did royal portraits, possibly commissioned? The paintings were dated 1951.

This has been a fascinating and fruitful discussion. The question 'Could this be the artist and mural painter Winifred Elizabeth Beatrice Hardman (1890–1972)?' seems to have been answered. Connard and Hardman are very likely to have known each other in the early 1920s, probably having met through the RA, and photographic evidence from multiple sources indicates that this portrait is almost certainly Winifred E.B. Hardman. If there are no objections, I recommend that the discussion is closed.

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Catherine, thank you for recommending that we close the discussion.

At our recent group leaders' annual meeting it was agreed that the group leader's recommendation should function as the last word (as far as that thread is concerned), so I will comment as soon as possible afterwards that the discussion is now waiting for collection input, that no more comments should be posted and that any further research should be emailed to Art Detective. This will make the recommended update for the collection clearer and easier to find.