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25 January 2019
And finally the best painting of them all: In a Glasgow Cotton Spinning Mill: Changing the Bobbins. Apollo magazine again: ‘Sylvia Pankhurst publicised her tour’s findings, of poor working conditions and unequal wages, by writing an article and reproducing her images in the London Magazine in 1908. She never did complete her studies at the RCA, in part because she was not awarded a final-year scholarship – but also due to her belief that a successful artistic career would be in service of the pleasures of the wealthy elite and her own self-centred ambition, as opposed to society and its problems. She questioned her conscience: “Are we brothers of the brush entitled to the luxury of release from utilitarian production? Is it just that we should be permitted to devote out entire lives to the creation of beauty, while others are meshed in monotonous drudgery?” And so, at the age of 27, Sylvia Pankhurst turned her full attention to the suffragette cause, helping to establish the first branch of the WSPU in London.’
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