Culture Magazine

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

By Kirsty Stonell Walker @boccabaciata

 I love artistic relationships - I've done a fair bit of work on husband and wives who both paint, but I think there is also a fair amount to say about children who follow in their parent's artistic footsteps. One of my favorite things to say as I walk past Meredith Frampton's Portrait of a Young Woman in the Tate is 'his mum, the artist, made that frock.'  Already in this Blogvent we have seen some families all painting together, but I knew that Winifred Sandys was an artist already.  I had no idea the Yeend King had an artist daughter (or for that matter, a first name).  Say hello to Lilian Frances Hatton Yeend King...

Now, that is a lot of names and I'm still hazy on a death date as we will see, Lilian's life got a bit complicated.  However, I am fascinated by father-daughter artistic combinations, so we'll have to see what comes up in the next 12 hours. Let's start with Dad, as to be honest, not enough is known about him either, which is a great start...

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Yeend King

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Three Score Years and Ten (1886) Yeend King

Henry John Yeend King (1855-1924) has over 50 artworks on ArtUK (the website of all oil paintings and other artworks held publicly in the UK). I've used the above painting by him a few times over the years and it is very popular at the Russell-Cotes where it lives (and why I know it so well).  Embarrassingly, I always thought the poor man's name was Yeend King (first name Yeend, last name King) but he has other names, but shockingly no Wikipedia page.  He married Edith Lilian Atkinson in June 1881.  Over the next year they must have been living in Paris, because Lilian was born there on 13 September 1882, but they have returned by the time their son Walter Eustice is born in 1885. Lilian appears to have been sent to Clare House School in Margate - this was purportedly a boy's boarding school but it seems to have an awful lot of girls there too. There was apparently a sister school - Claremont - so possibly the pupils could move been the two sometimes.

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Tender Thoughts (undated)

Lilian attended Heatherley's School of Art, which seems to have been a popular choice at this time and there appears to be a wider scope and possibly a more relaxed attitude to lady artists than some schools, even that close to the turn of the century.  In 1901, she is back living with her parents at 103 Finchley Road in Hampstead, together with their boarder, fellow painter Haynes King.  Haynes King does have a Wikipedia page but it unhelpfully doesn't tell me if Haynes is living with the family because he is a relation or because he knows Yeend King through work.  More to the point, when Haynes King walked in front of a train in 1904, the inquest referred to Yeend King as his landlord, not naming him or mentioning the shared profession. Yeend King was quite a famous name, not as famous as poor Haynes King, but it does seem odd that the link is not made, especially as Haynes had been living with the family for over a decade. 

I can't find any mention of Lilian's pictures before the 1906 Hampstead Art Society exhibition, where the Morning Post mentioned her 'praiseworthy work' which hung with her father's charming sketch. That was a busy year from Lilian as in the October she married Edwin George Fraenkl, a law/divinity student from Dundee.  Edwin's father Victor had come to Scotland from Germany around 1867 after marrying Maria, where his four children were born. In 1901 Edwin was living in a boarding house in London, his occupation listed as 'Undergraduate', so I can only guess that he and Lilian had friends in common or that he just really liked art. Either way, the couple gave the All Souls Church in Hampstead a special lectern Bible in 1905 then married there at the end of 1906.

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Village View (undated)

The couple moved with Edwin's role as he became the senior curate of St Mary's, The Butts in Warwick.  In the 1911 census, Lilian is recorded as an 'artist', and somehow the couple has become the Hatton-Fraenkls which is an exciting combination of their name.  Lilian began to exhibit with her married name in brackets afterwards, such as at the exhibition of watercolours she held in St Mary's Hall, Warwick in 1912. The Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser reviewed it as a 'most charming little exhibition of water colours' and pointed out that Lilian was 'the most gifted daughter of the well-known great artist Yeend King ... Mrs Hatton-Fraenkl, fortunately, has inherited many of her father's excellent qualities as an artist.'  The piece is wonderfully gushing - 'As one enters the room, one is struck with a wonderful blaze of pure and rich colouring - alas so lacking in many of our so-called "Artists of Modern Times." The exhibition richly deserves a visit.'

At some point the couple change their everso-German surname from Fraenkl to 'Freemantle,' I'm guessing because of the Great War.  I know one of Mary Hiller's (model for Julia Margaret Cameron) daughter married a German chap and they anglicized their surname around the same time. This makes tracking Lilian even more exciting because she is under Yeend King, Fraenkl and Freemantle at overlapping and random moments in time. In 1915, Lilian's brother Walter Eustice died in Kent, although I have no other information.  He was 30 so it might have been war related, there was a hospital for wounded soldier shipped back there, but equally, he could have had a heart attack while on holiday. Around the same time, Lilian seems to have moved home and started divorce proceedings against Edwin. Frustratingly, I can't find their paperwork (as I love a look at who did what) but in the 1939 census, Lilian lists her marital status as 'divorced'.  

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Young Water Maiden (undated)

Despite (or possibly because of) the return home, her artistic career took new steps into the Royal Academy. The Marylebone Mercury reported that Yeend King had 2 rural landscapes in the 1919 RA and Lilian exhibited a portrait study of her mother. 

I had to chuckle because Lilian's other (and last) appearance at the RA was at the notorious 1921 exhibition which one newspaper dubbed 'The Revolution at the Royal Academy' - 'Well known Artists Excluded for Cubists and Vorticists' (the horror!) There were no problem-pictures from John Collier, no 'sweet delicacies' from Yeend King, and no 'sensitive works' of Mr Harrington Mann.  Despite all this 'merciless slaughter', Lilian Yeend King exhibited a portrait of her brother, Eustace, which was neither Cubist or Vorticist.

Beyond the Royal Academy, Lilian had other exhibitions.  In 1923, she appeared with 3 paintings at the New Society of Artists at the Suffolk Street Galleries.  Her father died in 1924, causing the Daily Mirror to write 'he was an amusing companion and a loyal friend' and a loss to Bohemian London. I think it was around that time that Lilian and her mother moved out of London, down to West Wittering in Sussex. There her mother died in 1931, and Lilian moved into Rosary Gate, becoming a mainstay in the West Wittering Art Scene.  The Chichester Observer praised her work in the 1935 exhibition, saying she had the gift 'to make every picture complete in every detail - not merely a sketch.' She also hosted an exhibition in the church hall in 1938, causing the West Sussex Gazette to report that there was 'nothing of the high-brow or the obscurantist about them. They are happy selections from here and there in her own area.' They really appreciated her 'bits of beauty' as they stood as memorials to a coastline they felt was vanishing.

Monday 18th December - Lilian Yeend King (1883-?)

Girl at the Well (undated)

In the 1939 census, Lilian Freemantle, watercolour artist is recorded at Rosary Gate.  In the notes next to her record it seems to imply she was an ambulance driver for the western area, which also tells us she could drive. The last record I can find for her is a 1948 exhibition in the West Wittering Memorial Hall, where they showed a range of landscapes by local artists, as well as a fancy-dress parade.  If more art exhibitions came with a fancy-dress parade, think how jolly the Royal Academy would be.

I can't find her death details, which is driving me mad.  An interesting, if slightly mad suggestion I have had is that she died in London as 'Lilian Frances King' in 1987, at the very grand old age of 104.  That is slightly bonkers, but that lady did leave over £100K so who knows.

I think the whole Yeend King family need a renaissance and some sort of father-daughter exhibition needs to happen.  Her work is very much influenced by her father, as I think Winifred Sandys was influenced by Frederick, but just think of a Father-Daughter exhibition to see who followed the family path and who rebelled.  

Obviously, we'd have a fancy-dress parade as part of it.

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