Emily Georgiana Kemp

Portrait head of Miss Emily Georgiana Kemp by Alphonse Legros (1837-1911)

Portrait head of Miss Emily Georgiana Kemp by Alphonse Legros (1837-1911)

This sketch by Alphonse Legros is a portrait of Somerville College Chapel’s founder, Emily Georgiana Kemp (1860-1939). Emily left a significant bequest of Western and Eastern Art to the Ashmolean; she also donated the Chapel to Somerville during her own lifetime.

Emily was one of the first students to study at Somerville and upon leaving led an adventurous life, writing a number of travel books about her journeys in Asia. Over the next few weeks, more stories and images related to the donor of Somerville College Chapel will be posted.

Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) was Slade Professor of Art at
University College London, under whom Emily studied Fine Art between leaving Somerville and embarking on her first trip to China. This picture is dated 1892 by the artist – when Emily was a student at the Slade School.

A number of Legros’ works were left to the Ashmolean in Emily’s bequest, including the oil ‘Interior with an organist and procession’ and a sketch of her sister, Lydia Peto Kemp.

3 thoughts on “Emily Georgiana Kemp

  1. I have a favor to ask. For a book I am writing including a chapter on the intersection of western photography and graphics in china in the first half of the
    twentieth century, in which i propose to place emily g. kemp in a prominent
    role as a pioneer watercolorist/travel writer there, I should like very much to
    reproduce alphonse legros’ sketch of kemp as a young student in london and
    learn her age in that portrait. When I downloaded the reproduction of this sketch
    from your college blog for september 12, 2011 onto my printer, however, it became a very faint reproduction once further removed. Would it be possible
    for me to receive an email attachment via PDF or otherwise with good definition like 600 dpi that i might reproduce in my book? Or do we face some
    insurmountable copyright issues here? My email address may suggest i am a
    retired professor at the University of Southern California. And where may I ask
    is Somerville College located in England? Many thanks in advance for your
    attention and possible response to my eager request. Best wishes, Paul C.

    • Dear Paul, my apologies for the tardy reply. Somerville College is in Oxford located close to the Ashmolean Museum which holds the Legros portrait and also the original water colours reproduced in Kemp’s travel books. We have permission to reproduce these images on the blog but you would have to contact the Ashmolean directly to use them in a book. Your book sounds very interesting and I would very much like to read it. Kemp’s water colours are not on display but kept in the Eastern Art Print Room.

  2. I still await response to my email request of March 4 last regarding portrait
    head sketch of Emily G. Kemp by Alphonse Legros in 1892 I wish to reproduce
    as a plate in a book I am writing in a superior PDF form with your assistance.
    Thank you in advance for facilitating my request. Paul Christopher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *