Nora Lucy Mowbray Cundell (1889-1948)

Known for floral still lifes, figures, and landscapes of Arizona and England, Nora Lucy Cundell was born and raised in London. She began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1911 and continued nearly until the time of her death in 1948. From 1936 to 1941, eight of 11 paintings exhibited at the Academy were scenes of Arizona. A memorial exhibition in her honor in 1949 in London at the Royal Society of British Artists had 45 paintings of the American West, including California and Utah as well as Arizona.

 

Other exhibition venues for Cundell were the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the French Salon in Paris and Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.

 

She came to the United States for the first time in 1934, and, touring the American West, was especially fascinated by Marble Canyon in northeastern Arizona, a place she returned to the next year for painting and sketching. About this year-long visit, she wrote and published Unsentimental Journey.

 

During World War II in London, she served as an ambulance driver, and then in 1947, she lived at Marble Canyon in a small stone cabin. Her plan to return the following year ended with her death in Windsor, England in 1948, but her request to have her ashes scattered in Marble Canyon was honored.

 

She also did portraits of Navajo Indians, and in later years, these western paintings became more sought after than what she did in England.

 

Her work is in the collections of the Tate Gallery and the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.

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