Evelyn Mary Dunbar, born 18th December 1906, was the fifth surviving child of William Dunbar, a bespoke tailor and purveyor of household linens, and his wife Florence (née Murgatroyd), an amateur artist chiefly known for floral still lifes. With William Dunbar abstaining, the family embraced Christian Science, a set of religious convictions which came to govern Dunbar's art and outlook. Although born in Reading, Dunbar's childhood and adolescence were spent in Rochester, where she developed strong skills in draughtsmanship and composition, backed by a highly developed sense of colour. Guidance and encouragement by her mother and her aunt, Florence Dunbar's sister Clara Cowling, by an outstanding teacher of art at Rochester Girl's Grammar School and some success in the mid-1920s in writing and illustrating children's books, all led in 1929 to the award of an exhibition to the Royal College of Art.

Text source: Christopher Campbell-Howes

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