In Appreciation of 19th Century Female Artists or ‘The Blue Plaque Dress’ as it has become known was created in 2015. Inspired by a real need to make a record of as many names of female artists as possible.
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker. The brainchild of British politician William Ewart in 1863, it is the oldest such scheme in the world.
I believe that these women need recognition and wanted to create something quite beautiful for them. I used the same dress pattern as for previous dresses, I was going to add ‘mutton sleeves’ as the dress was inspired by an 1860 style ball gown.
A long process of researching names followed, sadly I knew that I could only get so many on this piece as wanted the plaques large enough to stand out and be easily read. Each plaque had to be painted twice and over 70 names are recorded on it.
I decided against the mutton sleeves as didn’t want to detract from the addition of the paintbrushes. These paintbrushes, all mine and some were used in the creation of this dress have been attached over the left breast, the heart, showing that this was their passion, their love, their life.
Art is eternal, but life is short. Evelyn de Morgan
I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose. Evelyn de Morgan
Evelyn de Morgan along with Henrietta Rae are just two of the many names that adorn this piece.