Beatrice Lithiby - A Painting From Leicester's Collection

Published: 7 March 2023

Unsung Women Artists

We have recently contributed a digital image of a painting we have in the Leicester Museums & Galleries Collection to the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage, who are celebrating some unsung women who were/are local to them.

The painting is an undated still life oil painting curiously entitled ‘The Oldest Industry’, created by Beatrice Ethel Lithiby. It entered the museum collection in 1996 as part of a transfer of works from Hinckley Library in 1996.

Lithiby (1889-1966) was a Royal Academy-trained artist and designer who served in the army in both World Wars, reaching a rank equivalent to Captain in the First and to Major in the Second and gaining both an MBE and OBE award for her services. She was an official war artist in WWI, recording the work of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps based in France.

Many of these works are now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

‘The Oldest Industry’ by Beatrice Ethel Lithiby

‘The Oldest Industry’ by Beatrice Ethel Lithiby

Her art ranged from landscapes to still lifes, portraiture to designs for stained glass. After the wars she settled in Wantage, where she had a studio and taught art.

A selection of her works can be found on the Vale and Downland Museum website: Beatrice Ethel Lithiby Paintings - Vale & Downland Museum and more information about the artist can be found here: Celebrating Local Women - Vale & Downland Museum