Celebrated artist Flora Twort (1893-1985) lived and worked in Petersfield from 1918 until her death in 1985. A keen observer of contemporary life, she drew inspiration from her surroundings and everyday activities, including market day and the country fair.
Shortly after arriving in Petersfield, Twort established a studio on the first floor of No 1 and No 2 The Square. The ground floor became The Petersfield Workshop and Bookshop, which Twort ran with Hester Wagstaff and Maria Brahms. Twort was part of a wider circle of artists and writers who regularly visited The Petersfield Bookshop, and in the early 1920s, the artist Stanley Spencer stayed in Twort’s studio during his time in Petersfield.
Painting and drawing throughout her life, Twort worked primarily in watercolour and filled her notebooks with sketches of people and animals, capturing their manner and character in a few confidently executed lines. Twort’s talent for drawing was encouraged from a young age, and she studied at the London School of Art, London Polytechnic and Slade School of Fine Art. Despite the exclusivity of established art institutions and the limited opportunities for exhibiting work faced by women artists, Twort regularly showed at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the New English Art Club. In 1934, she joined the Society of Women Artists, whose President was the acclaimed artist Laura Knight.
Flora Twort left her artwork for the people of Petersfield to enjoy. With additional generous gifts and aquasitions, this collection has a permanent home at Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery.