23rd March 1948

Artist and suffragist Ann Macbeth dies

Although she neither was born nor died in Scotland, Ann Macbeth’s involvement with the influential Glasgow Movement of artists earned her a place in the country’s history. She initially studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and then taught there across a number of subjects, including bookbinding and needlework.

Her approach to needlework was so effective that she became a leader in her field and published books on the subject that remained influential beyond her death. Much of her work was bold and, in 1908, she designed a banner for the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies to carry on its march through Edinburgh. More banners and quilts followed over the years.

Demand for universal suffrage

Her support of women’s suffrage wasn’t confined only to her artistic endeavours, though: Macbeth actively participated in action and demonstrations. In advance of the 1909 march, Votes for Women newspaper reported on activities in Glasgow and the west of Scotland where the number of women wanting to hear Adela Pankhurst speak had more than filled Greenock town hall and some were unable to enter. The same happened at Paisley. The week continued with a number of open air meetings, meetings in members’ homes and even at the Ideal Home Exhibition, and Ann Macbeth was picked out for having “made a very graceful speech”.

In 2019, the Museum of London displayed Macbeth’s iconic Suffragette quilt, composed of purple and green linen embroidered with the signatures of 80 suffragist hunger strikers who were prepared to die for their cause in 1910.



Other events that occured in March

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