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Katherine Fryer


Katherine Fryer was an award-winning but mainly regionally known artist who specialized in wood engravings. If her work had never been promoted after her 90th birthday, she might have become a forgotten figure in the arts.

Katherine Mary Fryer was born on August 26, 1910, in Leeds, and attended Leeds College of Art, where she first encountered wood engravings, from 1926 to 1931. Between the late 1930s and her retirement in 1970, she held several positions as a teacher, but also painted, with works shown in the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. She settled in Birmingham in the 1940s, and became a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) in 1966. Three years later, she won the Hoffman Wood (Leeds) Gold Medal for her painting Pigeon Show.

After her retirement as a teacher, she began to paint and draw full-time. Although several of her works were shown at museums or in private collections, she only gained national attention in her later years. In 2000, at the age of 90, she published a book of her memories and her woodblock engravings, and held a one-woman exhibition of 72 works, entitled One Point of View, at the RBSA. Ten years later, in her 100th year, the RBSA featured a selection of her work in its exhibition Ten Years at St Paul Square. Today, her works are shown in museums throughout England.

Katherine Fryer died on January 11, 2017, in Birmingham, at the age of 106, engraving six points to WEP (one for the hit, five for the solo).


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