Ellen Brown Workman McCready

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Artist Bio

Ellen Brown Workman McCready Ellen Brown Workman McCready RUA
1883 – 1972
Landscape and Flower Painter
Ellen Brown Workman, known as Nellie, was born in Kirklington, Scotland on 14th March 1883. She had six siblings, her sister Jeannie was also an accomplished painter.
She was the daughter of shipping magnate William Service Workman and a niece of Frank Workman of the Belfast shipbuilders Workman Clark.
In 1917, Nellie married the prominent ophthalmic surgeon Wiclif McCready and they settled in 28 College Gardens Belfast. Drawn to the beauty of Co. Down they bought a second home, Ballymacarron, on the shores of Strangford Lough.
Nellie with her sister Jeannie first visited the low countries of Europe in their teens. Nellie went on to study in Paris and spent a period at the studio of James Abbot McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903).
Her earliest recorded work was exhibited with the Society of Women Artists in 1901 and the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy in 1903. It was however the mid 20’s to the mid 30’s when her work rose to prominence. During this period, she exhibited several pieces at the Paris Salon and the Fine Art Society in London.
More locally she had work accepted in the Royal Hibernian Academy between 1927 and 1930, also the Ulster Academy of Arts and was a regular exhibitor at Rodmans in Donegal Place Belfast. During the presidency of Sir John Lavery, she received a letter in 1930 from Frank McKelvey and J.W. Carey inviting her to become an associate of the Ulster Academy of Arts. She became an academician three years later.
In the following years, Nellie would paint with Tom Carr to whom she was related, and she continued her work into old age.
Ross’s have recently rediscovered her work from her studio at Ballymacarron and are delighted to present it to viewers, many for the first time.

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