Born on 9 July 1859 in Fakenham, Norfolk (GRO), the daughter of a vicar, Michael Angelo Atkinson, and Amelia Elizabeth Williams. Amy Beatrice Atkinson lived with her parents in Norfolk until between 1881 and 1891, when she went to Looe in Cornwall. In the 1891 census she stated her occupation to be that of an artist. She was a prolific exhibitor between the years of 1884 and 1916. Her addresses in this period include the following: Fakenham Rectory, Norfolk (1884), York (1889), Frensham, Surrey (1894) and London (1897). [J&G]
In the 1890 Exhibition at Dowdeswells [reprinted in Hardie 2009] in New Bond Street, the artist exhibited alongside all those described as 'from St Ives, Newlyn and Falmouth residing in or painting in Cornwall'. Her exhibition title was In the Firelight.
Between 1891 and 1901 she was in Kensington, London, where she shared a house with Scottish author Ann Macdonnell. They stayed together until Amy's death in 1916, moving a little nearer to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. She never married or had children.
A recent correspondent has written with the following information:
'I'm interested in finding out more about Amy Atkinson. so far I found almost nothing! I discovered the book 'In The Abruzzi' several years back. It contains 12 watercolours by her. I've also got another book she did the illustrations for (Touraine, again with Ann Macdonell) and one watercolour. But any information on the pair of them is hard to come by!'
A correspondent (2020) has told us of a landscape by Amy Beatrice Atkinson in his possession, entitled 'Autumn'. His additional information on her has now been incorporated into this listing.
A further correspondent (2021) has come across the grave of Amy Atkinson in the churchyard of St Paul's Church, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells. Beneath a beautiful headstone cross are the words: 'To the memory of Amy Beatrice Atkinson, painter. Born at Fakenham, Norfolk, July 9, 1859. Died at Tunbridge Wells, September 18, 1916.' Below this inscription are is a poem whose words have been obscured by the passage of time.
Painter of genre, landscape and figures
Dowdeswells (1) 1890 (Hardie Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall has reprint)
RA (6); Royal Society of Portrait Painters (1)
Ridley Art Club (57)
B (2); BG (3); DOW (1); GI (4); L (7); LS (3); M(1); NEA (4); NG (2); RBA (8); RHA (2); ROI (12)
International Society (11);
Society of Women Artists (12)
Dowdeswell Exhibition catalogue
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall
Johnson & Greutzner (1975 and update 2008) Dictionary of British Artists
Wood (1995) Victorian Painters