The Surrealism Website
Marion Adnams (1898-1995)
Marion Adnams was a versatile artist and teacher, who was born and lived
in Derby. Notable for her Surrealist works she was influenced by René
Magritte and Paul Nash. She trained as a teacher of modern languages
and gained an honours degree in 1919. She attended life classes at
Derby School of Art and, in 1936 began to paint with a view to getting
her art teacher’s diploma. She gained it in 1938 and was appointed art
mistress at Homelands Grammar School for Girls, Derby. She became
senior lecturer and head of the department in art at Derby Training
College in 1946. She retired in 1960, and then spent much time painting
In 1964-5, she completed a series of murals for Immanuel Church,
Stapenhill, Burton-upon-Trent, but she had to cease painting in 1968
because of failing eyesight.
From the end of the 1930s, Adnams became known for her distinctive Surrealist paintings,
for about 30 years Marion Adnams showed
continuously in London and the provinces and had a retrospective
exhibition at Midland Group Gallery in 1971.
Public collections in Manchester, Salford, Nottingham, Leicester,
Derby and Wolverhampton hold examples of her works. Adnams was a
singular woman, who had lived for years in the same tiny house which,
even when she was old and blind, appeared as fresh as a St Ives studio
of the 1930s.