Archive for April 2013

Wishful Wednesday: Great-aunt Cissie poses for Newlyn School artist

Category: Famous Connections

Cissie Barnes, aged 17Harvey's great-aunt, Cissie Barnes, sounds like 'quite a gal'. She posed for Newlyn School artist, Dod Procter, for the picture, 'Morning', which caused a bit of a stir at the time. Cissie (real-name - Sarah) was just 16 years old when she modelled for the painting, which shows her reclining on her bed having a morning snooze.

Painted in 1926, the picture was voted Picture of the Year at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1927 and was bought for the nation by the Daily Mail newspaper. It was also displayed in New York, went on tour for 2 years and became part of the Tate collection. The painting now hangs in the Tate Modern Gallery in London.

Cissie was born, and grew up, in Newlyn, Cornwall, and it's understood that Dod Procter painted her several times. I can only imagine Cissie might have enjoyed some short-term notoriety when the picture hit the headlines. Amongst the family archive is a newspaper cutting which shows a photograph of Cissie standing in one of her father's fishing vessels wearing a sou'wester hat, waterproof coat and boots. It was taken when she was 17 years old and the caption refers to Dod Procter's painting.

It's with some regret that Harvey never met, or even knew about, his great-aunt Cissie, especially as it appears she was still alive when Harvey was growing up. Even more ironic is that she resided in Plymouth in her latter years, which would have coincided with some of the years Harvey spent living in the same city.

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