Suffragettes May 5 & 13 1914

THE MORNING POST MAY 5 1914

THE MILITANT SUFFRAGISTS

OUTRAGE AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY

PORTRAIT DAMAGED

Yesterday afternoon, about half past one o’clock, Mr. Sargent’s portrait of Mr. Henry James at the Royal Academy, which has been presented to the distinguished novelist by a group of his admirers, was seriously damaged by a Suffragist. The portrait, No. 343, was hanging on the line in the Large Gallery, where there was the large company of visitors that always gathers there on the opening day at Burlington House. The woman, a Mrs. Wood, attacked the picture with a meat-chopper, breaking the glass, and before those standing by could prevent her made tow or three slashes into the canvas. The eyes were not toughed, but there were two gashes on the face, and one lower down, hear the hand. The woman who had dropped the chopper, was seized and arrested, offering no resistance.

A man in the gallery, who began to talk loudly in justification of the woman’s action, was also removed, not before he had been handled with some roughness. He afterwards appeared at the offices of the Academy off the entrance hall, making a claim for compensation for broken spectacles.

Under the direction of Mr. David Murray, R.A., who happened to be present, the gallery was temporarily cleared, and the damaged picture taken from the walls. It was noticed by those who saw it carried away that daylight showed through the canvas in two places.


THE MORNING POST MAY 13 1914

ANOTHER MILITANT OUTRAGE

PICTURE DAMAGED AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY

Another outrage was committed by a Militant Suffragist at the Royal Academy yesterday afternoon. At half-past three a woman, who gave the name of Gertrude Mary Ansell, and is fifty years of age, made an attempt to destroy Sir Hubert von Herkomer’s painting of the Duke of Wellington, which has been hung in Room No. 3. She struck the picture some heavy blows with a chopper, which she produced from her dress, but before she did serious damage she was seized by an attendant, named Wilcocks, and given into custody.

The Registrar of the Royal Academy informed a representative of the Morning Post that nothing could be said about what steps the authorities might adopt in view of this fresh outrage. “We have taken all the precautions possible,” he said, “and they are of a more stringent character than we care to say. The promptitude with which this woman was seized shows that our attendants are very much on their guard.”

The Registrar of the Royal Academy informed a representative of the Morning Post that nothing could be said about what steps the authorities might adopt in view of this fresh outrage. “We have taken all the precautions possible,” he said, “and they are of a more stringent character than we care to say. The promptitude with which this woman was seized shows that our attendants are very much on their guard.”

The portrait shows the Duke standing almost at full length in the purple robes of the Garter. His left hand rests on a sword hilt, the right holds a paper, and a conventional column and wall form the background. It is not one of Sir Hubert’s most successful achievements, the fact in particular showing signs of fatigue in the artist. Yet the picture as a whole is effective and the cloak is deftly painted.

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