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Fanny Eaton, the Pre-Raphaelite Jamaican Muse - Jackie Kay

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I missed your face for years and years,
In all the galleries, on all the walls,
Up and down the corridors
At the top of spiral stairs

After years and years of
Head of a Negro Roman Period Bronze
Plastic Vase Negro Head 11 or 111
Century AD, terracotta,

Black executioners,
The Judgement of Solomon 1220
Or the Young African Woman
Kneeling in the attitude of prayer,

You were a breath of fresh air!
Not Slaves waiting for sale;
Not the Plantation burial;
Not a reminder of Longfellow’s

In the dark fens of the dismal swamp.
You were not found on a fountain
Between the Observatoire and the Jardin
Du Luxembourg, or turned into a statue in a Square.

Queen Victoria did not present a bible
To you; and you were not an exotic other either.
Here you are as I come around the corner.
I might have missed you altogether.

Born Fanny Matilda
In St Andrew Jamaica 1835
Daughter of a former slave
And former slave owner

Recorded as Mulatto. Mulatto!
You are The Jamaican Pre-Raphaelite Muse!
Mother of ten, widow, working class.
You are beautiful.  Strong.

You turn the gaze around,
With your regal profile
Your fine head and figure
Your high cheekbones.

Your finely wrought nimbus of afro hair
You could have been out there
Never to be found, on the fringes of history!
Here’s your grace, your poise

Right at this moment when I needed you
To walk down the long corridor
To climb up the endless stairs in the dark
Here in The Beloved, and again

In Uncle Tom’s Cabin. You live here.
You’re a housekeeper in Hammersmith
You’re a domestic cook on the Isle of Wight
And tonight, you are muse. I’m up in the night.

Here in the graphite, you are the most yourself.
Not the needlewoman, not in turquoise beads,
But unadorned and yet more beautiful,
the authentic self in pencil, not oil.

You gaze down through time
As if you could imagine it all,
As if you knew the years we’d travel.
And the years you might have lost.

***

You are the great- great- great grandmother I never met.
You appear in the glass and disappear tonight.
In the missing days and missing nights

When I come down the stairs
Into my empty hall past midnight
To find nothing at all on my walls
No photographs, no paintings,
No tapestry, no wall hangings
Everything blanked out

The life vanished, and disappeared.
The interest gone and the fizz fizzled out
The house turned into a ghost house.

The grief seeping in through the letterbox
And through the old stone walls
And the songs gone too. I don’t know what to do,

Until I think of you,
And piece by piece, you return to help.
Bit by bit – the empty wall, the line of masks.

In the small hours, in the small moments
In the swimming dark, in the long pool
You are suddenly let loose from your drawing

And swimming in the midnight pool of my mind
The one that might just let me sleep
Sleep the sleep of the sane and calmed friend

Sleep the sleep of the one who can let go.
You leave it behind, the violence of the years
The violence of your father, the ships, the mast, the caste

The burning cross, the blacked-up face,
The rising taunt, the called-out names,
You let them go, as far as is possible, out to sea

And you swim back and forth
In the midnight pool with your jet black curly hair
The moon lighting your path

You take a breath for the time that’s lost.
Out on your own now
You swim the length of a century.

You are the voice from the future, suddenly…
Not the past, here to tell us something
We struggle still to hear.

Jackie Kay describes her discovery of Fanny Eaton as two time worlds coming together. Fanny was born in Jamaica in 1835, and the graphite drawing of her by Simeon Solomon feels very vivid to Jackie, as if “she is right there”.

Discussing Fanny’s life leads Jackie to talk about how we need more black work in our galleries, paintings of black people or by black people who have been hidden from history, thoughts we hear developed in Jackie’s poem: “Fanny Eaton, the Pre-Raphaelite Jamaican Muse”

Podcast transcript

This transcript was generated using Amazon Speech Recognition; there maybe errors in this text. Please do point any errors that you find out using the feedback widget at the bottom corner of this page.

  1. 00:00:03 - 00:00:27
    Carmen Pryce Hi, I’m Carmen Pryce, and this is “in my mind's eye: The museum explored“, the podcast where I talked to artists and writers during the 2020 covid 19 pandemic, about their memories of the Fitzwilliam Museum, part of the University of Cambridge. This week, poet Scottish Makar and regular visitor Jackie Kay is inspired by a sketch she finds while jogging her memory for this podcast, looking at the museum archives.
  2. 00:00:28 - 00:00:39
    Carmen Pryce Jackie has written a poem locked down in Manchester about the Jamaican pre Raphaelite muse Fanny Eaten, which you'll hear shortly. But first we chat over the virtual phone.
  3. 00:00:40 - 00:00:46
    Carmen Pryce I called Jackie on Thursday the 10th of September 2020 at 3 PM British summer time.
  4. 00:00:48 - 00:00:51
    Carmen Pryce Jackie, thanks for joining me on this lock down call.
  5. 00:00:51 - 00:00:52
    Jackie Kay It's a pleasure, Carmen.
  6. 00:00:53 - 00:00:59
    Carmen Pryce Now tell me about your lock down situation. Where are you and has lock down affected your working day?
  7. 00:00:59 - 00:01:48
    Jackie Kay It has affected my working day in lots of different ways and in other ways not at all because being writers. we're kind of used to the whole business of being locked down, lockdown is, what we do for a living, generally, when we're writing. I think the thing that's really changed is that we're not travelling about. So I used to be lived the life of a very peripatetic poet going about from place to place doing gig to gig, and that's changed. But I have learned how to do a lot of these gigs, from my very own iving room. I have curated a series of programmes called Makar to Makar that ran for 14 weeks and were a kind of mixture of poetry and song to offer kind of home entertainment and solace and comfort to those people that were feeling isolated and wanted some sense of something happening live in the moment. I guess for me it's a challenge because I am the Makar, you know, the National Poet of Scotland.
  8. 00:01:49 - 00:01:51
    Jackie Kay I was thinking that lockdown would,
  9. 00:01:52 - 00:01:59
    Jackie Kay effectively stop me being Makar for a period of time. So I was looking to find ways of being actively Makar,
  10. 00:01:59 - 00:02:11
    Jackie Kay and that's why I invented this programme Makar to Makar and also a series of Sunday poems. Um, so I did 17 of those every Sunday. I did a different Sunday poem that I sent out on on Twitter.
  11. 00:02:11 - 00:02:18
    Carmen Pryce I think the whole lot down situation has kind of forced people to be more imaginative in the things that they do in some ways.
  12. 00:02:18 - 00:02:52
    Jackie Kay Yeah, absolutely. It's forced you to be imaginative, and it shows you just how much control you can have in a sense, over what you're putting out, which is interesting for people, you know, you being able to edit, edit poems, send out programmes. You know, we've all become quite tech savvy, even the least tech people that I know have had to be on Zoom and become quite zoom savvy. So it's quite, it's quite funny. I remember, for the first time I heard the words Zoom early on in lockdown seemed bizarre to me. I just thought of this the song you know, zoom one day and your heart goes boom.

  1. 00:02:53 - 00:02:54
    Carmen Pryce Oh yeah.
  2. 00:02:55 - 00:02:57
    Jackie Kay And then and then it's been like that for months now. It seems bizarre.
  3. 00:02:58 - 00:03:01
    Jackie Kay One of the most extraordinary
  4. 00:03:02 - 00:03:05
    Jackie Kay things of our time is also shown us just how necessary art
  5. 00:03:06 - 00:03:11
    Jackie Kay is. Just that the instinct to be creative runs very deep in all of us.
  6. 00:03:12 - 00:03:14
    Carmen Pryce Just in a general way. What do you think about
  7. 00:03:15 - 00:03:19
    Carmen Pryce the way your memory is affected when you can no longer access artwork.
  8. 00:03:19 - 00:03:35
    Jackie Kay Well, I think that art and memory is that there's an interesting relationship between art and memory generally between paintings and memory, photographs and memory, songs and memory, poetry and memory. I think all of the arts connect to our ways of remembering ourselves, and our
  9. 00:03:36 - 00:03:49
    Jackie Kay past lives. And I think that we're lucky at this moment in time that this particular pandemic has coincided with us being technologically brilliant, because it's allowed us to access
  10. 00:03:50 - 00:03:57
    Jackie Kay art galleries in very different ways. And in fact, it's allowed us to access just about all of our interests, if we have a computer,
  11. 00:03:57 - 00:04:34
    Jackie Kay it's difficult for people that are not computer literate. Um, but for those of us that are, I was able to, for instance, go onto Fitzwilliam. Ah, look at look at the work online. And that's where I came across Fanny Eaton, and that was amazing to me to find her online. It was like a kind of an extraordinary kind of clash of the very, very modern i.e. in perusing an art gallery online with with, with, this extraordinary black Victorian. So it was like two time worlds coming together in the most pleasing of ways on and in some ways,
  12. 00:04:34 - 00:04:41
    Jackie Kay this particular lock down crisis has made some things more accessible to you, if you have a computer
  13. 00:04:41 - 00:05:19
    Jackie Kay than they would otherwise have been, I couldn't have got on a train and come to Cambridge, at the moment. I couldn't have gone into the Fitzwilliam. My actual self couldn't have walked up the stairs. I couldn't have found Fanny, but I was able to access her through this little portal of a screen here in my kitchen and therefore bring her right into my house. So here she was in my kitchen, in my living room. I've had her all around my house in a way that I wouldn't have had her around my house had I found her in the Fitzwilliam Art Gallery itself. So it is a kind of fascinating paradox and conundrum and it maybe means that the future should be a mixture of both.
  14. 00:05:19 - 00:05:24
    Carmen Pryce Yeah. So what do you see in your mind's eye when you think of the Fitz?
  15. 00:05:24 - 00:05:27
    Jackie Kay Well, I see, I see the shop, the amazing shop.
  16. 00:05:27 - 00:05:28
    Carmen Pryce Everyone sees the shop.
  17. 00:05:28 - 00:05:42
    Jackie Kay Yeah, I was in there with my really good friend Ali Smith and she bought me this beautiful turquoise square necklace I have from there that always makes me think of, er, a window of lights in the fur.
  18. 00:05:42 - 00:06:11
    Jackie Kay Um, so that was that. One of these joyous moments where you were just admiring something and then someone just goes off and gets it for you. I can't believe it. You can’t believe it. So I see that the building itself and the Fitzwilliam is an extraordinary building. I see that place I see going up the stairs there and into that main big open gallery on the first floor, where they have a lot of the exhibitions. And I remember just being there for Maggie Hambling's exhibition “The Sea” and us going around in a group.
  19. 00:06:11 - 00:06:14
    Carmen Pryce So what about the artwork? What artwork comes to mind?
  20. 00:06:14 - 00:06:21
    Jackie Kay Well, now the artwork of Fanny Eaton comes to mind right, right away just because it's so unusual
  21. 00:06:21 - 00:07:08
    Jackie Kay seeing, seeing Fanny and I shouldn't see the artwork because she's the object rather than the painter. But in a strange when you think of her as being not just a sitter but being actively sitting because seeing her beautiful face so many times, but particularly in these graphic sketches that they have in the Fitzwilliam is so striking, you hardly ever get to see black Victorians. And you certainly don't see them in art work in this way. So that was so fresh that I thought, gosh, I wonder, where you've been, where have you been all my life? And that's what we think about the people that are missing the black people that are missing from history, not just from art but from the history books and from the stories that were told from the early photographs. We need to know where they've been.
  22. 00:07:08 - 00:07:14
    Carmen Pryce Let's just step back a bit Fanny Eaton was a muse of Simeon Solomon, right?
  23. 00:07:14 - 00:07:24
    Jackie Kay Thats right. She was an inspiration for many artists at the time. Simeon Solomon, his sister Rebecca Sullivan, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, painted her.
  24. 00:07:24 - 00:08:00
    Jackie Kay John Millais, Joanna Bryce, Frederic Sale; were all inspired by her extraordinary good looks. You know, she was very, very startlingly beautiful and, yet she was hidden from history. The particular piece that I've been inspired by was by Simeon Solomon because it's in graphic is pencil and it's just it's very lively. You feel like she's just right there in front of you. There's something about pencil that bring somebody to life in a way that sometimes oils can deaden and paints can deaden, but, but pencils just so lively,
  25. 00:08:00 - 00:08:18
    Jackie Kay you know. She was born in St. Andrews in Jamaica in 1835. She was called Fanny Matilda Entwhistle. Her mother was a slave, and her father, they think, was a slave owner. And she was described as a quote unquote mulatto
  26. 00:08:19 - 00:08:25
    Jackie Kay She lived in Jamaica for the first years of our life and then came over to London and she met and married
  27. 00:08:26 - 00:08:42
    Jackie Kay her husband, although she didn't actually marry him because it was illegal. So she had the equivalent of a of a married life with James Eaton, and they had 10 Children together, and James died when Fanny's youngest was only two years old. So she was responsible
  28. 00:08:43 - 00:08:43
    Jackie Kay for
  29. 00:08:44 - 00:08:46
    Jackie Kay bringing up these Children alone,
  30. 00:08:47 - 00:09:25
    Jackie Kay and she had a number of different jobs. I think she must have been some character working class black woman, strong. It must have been endlessly resourceful and kept changing shape shifting almost. She was somebody who actually understood that she had to keep transforming to stay alive. And so I find that fascinating. I mean, she would get 15 shillings for three sittings. I don't know how far that 15 shillings with a stretch, but she'd have had to be pretty good with her money for her family, not to starve and she actually lived till she was 89. Fanny's buried in Hammersmith Cemetery that I I want to go and find her one day.
  31. 00:09:25 - 00:09:28
    Carmen Pryce But it's very unusual to find
  32. 00:09:29 - 00:09:34
    Carmen Pryce this level of a painting of a black person at that time.
  33. 00:09:34 - 00:10:17
    Jackie Kay No, it really is very unusual, and it's very unusual to see somebody that isn't put into a particular kind of typecast roll. You know, that's neither an escaping slave or court gesture. She's not some domestic member of a family, she’s not painted as just being some part of a white families show off black servant, that you see in so many of the paintings of that period, she's not owned by anybody in these paintings. She's quite free, and that's really, really different and she's a breath of fresh air, particularly these graphics questions because they just feel so contemporary in their lives. It's it's like she's just a skip and a jump away.
  34. 00:10:17 - 00:10:22
    Carmen Pryce And is that what draws you to her? The fact that she seems so alive so contemporary, so now?
  35. 00:10:22 - 00:10:27
    Jackie Kay Yeah, because I also feel why didn't I know about her? I feel like a real
  36. 00:10:27 - 00:10:35
    Jackie Kay affection for her coming across her made me feel, very moved. Because we've only really just recently found
  37. 00:10:36 - 00:10:46
    Jackie Kay the so called Jamaican pre Raphaelite muse and she'd been hidden from history. We didn't know very much about her, even though she was inspiration for several
  38. 00:10:47 - 00:10:58
    Jackie Kay painters and artists, not just the one that I’ve picked, Simeon Solomon. But some point I'm going to try and look into her life more and more detail than I found for writing this poem.
  39. 00:10:58 - 00:11:03
    Carmen Pryce That leads us very nicely into the poem. So I think we should hear it.
  40. 00:11:03 - 00:11:04
    Jackie Kay Yeah, I’d delighted to read it.
  41. 00:11:05 - 00:11:06
    Jackie Kay Fanny
  42. 00:11:06 - 00:11:09
    Jackie Kay Eaton the Jamaican pre-Raphaelite muse.
  43. 00:11:10 - 00:11:13
    Jackie Kay I missed your face for years and years
  44. 00:11:13 - 00:11:20
    Jackie Kay in all the galleries on all the walls, up and down the corridors at the top of spiral stairs.
  45. 00:11:21 - 00:11:42
    Jackie Kay After years and years of head of a Negro Roman period bronze plastic vase, Negro Head two or three century AD terra cotta, black executioners. The judgement of Solomon, 1220 or the young African woman kneeling in the attitude of prayer. You were a breath of fresh air,
  46. 00:11:43 - 00:11:52
    Jackie Kay not slaves waiting for sale. Not the plantation burial. Not a remainder of Longfellow's in the dark fens of the dismal swamp
  47. 00:11:53 - 00:12:00
    Jackie Kay You were not found in a fountain between the observatoire, on the Jardin du Luxembourg or turned into a statue in a square.
  48. 00:12:01 - 00:12:06
    Jackie Kay Queen Victoria did not present a Bible to you and you were not an exotic other, either.
  49. 00:12:07 - 00:12:13
    Jackie Kay Here you are As I come around the corner. I might have missed you all together.
  50. 00:12:14 - 00:12:24
    Jackie Kay Born Fanny Matilda, in St. Andrew Jamaica 1835 daughter of a former slave and former slave owner
  51. 00:12:25 - 00:12:27
    Jackie Kay Recorded as mulatto,
  52. 00:12:27 - 00:12:28
    Jackie Kay mulatto!
  53. 00:12:29 - 00:12:29
    Jackie Kay You are
  54. 00:12:29 - 00:12:38
    Jackie Kay the Jamaican pre Raphaelite Muse, mother of 10, widow working class. You're beautiful,
  55. 00:12:38 - 00:12:39
    Jackie Kay strong.
  56. 00:12:40 - 00:12:42
    Jackie Kay You turn the gaze around
  57. 00:12:43 - 00:12:51
    Jackie Kay with your regal profile, your fine hand and figure, your high cheekbones. You're finally wrought nimbus of Afro hair.
  58. 00:12:52 - 00:12:52
    Jackie Kay You
  59. 00:12:52 - 00:12:53
    Jackie Kay could have
  60. 00:12:53 - 00:12:56
    Jackie Kay been out there never to be found on the fringes of history.
  61. 00:12:57 - 00:13:00
    Jackie Kay He is Your Grace, your points
  62. 00:13:00 - 00:13:35
    Jackie Kay right at this moment when I needed you to walk down a long corridor, to climb up the endless stairs in the dark. Here in the beloved and again in Uncle Tom's Cabin. You live here, you’re a housekeeper in Hammersmith. you're a domestic cook on the Isle-of-Wight and tonight you are muse I'm up in the night here in the graphite you're the most yourself, not the needle woman not in turquoise beads, but unadorned and yet more beautiful The authentic self In pencil, not oil
  63. 00:13:36 - 00:13:39
    Jackie Kay You gaze through time as if you could imagine it all
  64. 00:13:40 - 00:13:44
    Jackie Kay As if you knew the years we travel and the years you might have lost
  65. 00:13:46 - 00:13:56
    Jackie Kay You are the great great great grandmother I never met. You appear in the glass and disappear tonight in the missing days And missing nights When
  66. 00:13:56 - 00:13:56
    Jackie Kay I come
  67. 00:13:56 - 00:14:02
    Jackie Kay down the stairs into my empty hall past midnight to find nothing at all on my walls
  68. 00:14:03 - 00:14:28
    Jackie Kay No photographs, no paintings, no tapestry, no wall hangings. Everything blanked out. The life vanished and disappeared. The interest gone and the fizz fizzled out. The house turned into a ghost house the grief seeping in through the letter box and through the old stone walls on the songs gone too. I don't know what to do
  69. 00:14:28 - 00:14:32
    Jackie Kay until I think of you and piece by piece, you return to help.
  70. 00:14:33 - 00:14:37
    Jackie Kay Bit by bit. The empty wall, the line of masks.
  71. 00:14:37 - 00:14:42
    Jackie Kay In the small hours, in the small moments, in the swimming dark
  72. 00:14:43 - 00:14:44
    Jackie Kay in the long pool
  73. 00:14:44 - 00:14:52
    Jackie Kay you're suddenly let loose from your drawing and swimming in the midnight pool of my mind, the one that might just let me sleep.
  74. 00:14:53 - 00:14:56
    Jackie Kay Sleep the sleep of the sane and calmed. Friend,
  75. 00:14:56 - 00:14:58
    Jackie Kay Sleep the sleep of the one who can let go
  76. 00:14:59 - 00:15:15
    Jackie Kay You leave it behind. The violence of the years. The violence of your father the ships, the mast, the cast, the burning cross, the blacked up face, the rising taunt, the called out names. You let them go
  77. 00:15:16 - 00:15:19
    Jackie Kay as far as is possible out to sea
  78. 00:15:20 - 00:15:28
    Jackie Kay And you swim back and forth in the midnight pool with your jet black curly hair. The moon lighting, your path
  79. 00:15:29 - 00:15:36
    Jackie Kay You take a breath for the time that's lost, out on your own now. You swim the length of a century
  80. 00:15:36 - 00:15:40
    Jackie Kay You're the voice from the future.Suddenly, not the past
  81. 00:15:41 - 00:15:42
    Jackie Kay here to tell us something.
  82. 00:15:43 - 00:15:44
    Jackie Kay We struggle still to hear.
  83. 00:15:46 - 00:15:47
    Carmen Pryce Jackie, Thank you for that.
  84. 00:15:48 - 00:15:53
    Carmen Pryce You know my heritage is Jamaican, so she really chimes with me.
  85. 00:15:53 - 00:16:15
    Jackie Kay I think people chime with you whether you're from that part of the world or no, it's just being over mixed identity. My original father was from Nigeria and my mother was Scottish. We take our ancestors wherever we like. Really and I would see Fanny as being an ancestor if you like, and, yes, we're all inter-related in a deeper way than country nationality.
  86. 00:16:15 - 00:16:16
    Carmen Pryce You talk about
  87. 00:16:16 - 00:16:18
    Carmen Pryce missing faces?
  88. 00:16:18 - 00:16:22
    Carmen Pryce Is there anything that the art world could do about that?
  89. 00:16:22 - 00:16:35
    Jackie Kay Well, I think several different people are trying to do things in the art world that it was a wonderful exhibition at Manchester at gallery a few years ago on black Victorians, and that drew attention to all sorts of different artwork that people didn't know about.
  90. 00:16:36 - 00:16:37
    Jackie Kay I think we just need the presence and
  91. 00:16:38 - 00:16:39
    Jackie Kay the presence of black
  92. 00:16:40 - 00:16:47
    Jackie Kay work, or work that involves black people in one way or another, whether it's paintings of black people or painting by black people
  93. 00:16:48 - 00:16:55
    Jackie Kay in art galleries and for there to be more knowledge because just like everything else, we are only partially seen
  94. 00:16:55 - 00:17:23
    Jackie Kay in this country and that means historically and in acontemporary way. The past is not past. The past is still alive. And as long as we don't have proper access of information, as long as we're ignorant about people like Fanny Eaton, the role of Britain and the slave trade or whatever else it might be, then we can't really possibly have. Ah ah, healthy picture. So I think I think it's very, very important how we
  95. 00:17:24 - 00:17:33
    Jackie Kay what we think of when we think of art and who we remember, who we celebrate, who we make statues of and whatever information is on all of these things.
  96. 00:17:33 - 00:17:39
    Carmen Pryce I suppose that speaks about black lives matter protest that blew up during lock down.
  97. 00:17:39 - 00:17:47
    Jackie Kay Yeah, yes, it does. I mean, lock down is tinderbox time. So we're all everybody's very, very afraid and things, things go up
  98. 00:17:48 - 00:17:54
    Jackie Kay and off very quickly. It will be interesting when we look back in these times to see what we will take from them,
  99. 00:17:55 - 00:18:09
    Jackie Kay but it's it's I think is it's not before time that these discussions were had about which statues we celebrate and I think that what happened in Bristol to Colston was absolutely exhilarating.
  100. 00:18:10 - 00:19:01
    Jackie Kay You know, I was I was kind of crying with laughter. As I saw it happening and I think we absolutely need to think about who is celebrated and why our streets. In Glasgow, we've got Buchanan Street, we’ve got Jamaica Street, we’ve got Virginia Street. We've got the modern gallery of modern art was founded on the money from a slave trade. The whole city of Glasgow, is founded on money from the slave trade, and people don't know that about Glasgow, generally, it's not something where people saying I belong to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow town. And they're not thinking about about slave trade owners. They're not thinking about the tobacco lords. They're not thinking about Jamaica Street. They're not thinking about, um, about that at all. And I think that we do need to be informed and being informed means that we have more possibility of changing some of our future
  101. 00:19:01 - 00:19:02
    Jackie Kay Knowing about our past.
  102. 00:19:03 - 00:19:05
    Carmen Pryce Jackie. Thank you. That's fantastic.
  103. 00:19:05 - 00:19:06
    Jackie Kay A pleasure. Take care
  104. 00:19:07 - 00:19:07
    Carmen Pryce You too.
  105. 00:19:08 - 00:19:22
    Carmen Pryce For images of Fanny and sketches discussed today, where to find the original pieces on display in the museum or to listen to Jackie's poem again, visit the Fitzwilliam Museum website. You'll also find in my mind's eye details and transcripts,
  106. 00:19:23 - 00:19:29
    Carmen Pryce joining again next week for another episode, or subscribe to Fitzwilliam Museum podcasts and download the series
  107. 00:19:31 - 00:19:35
    Carmen Pryce in my mind's eyes made possible by the support of the Belvedere Trust,
  108. 00:19:36 - 00:19:46
    Carmen Pryce This episode was produced by me, Carmen Pryce with audio production by Nick Harris. The background music is “Call To Adventure” by Kevin McCloud and is licenced under the Creative Commons Agreement.

Object in focus

Fanny Eaton, the Pre-Raphaelite Jamaican Muse - Jackie Kay

About the object

From the collection of C.J. Knowles; Mrs Loÿse Knowles

Acquisition and important dates

  • Method of acquisition: Bequeathed
  • Dates: 1959-05

Dating

  • Production date: AD 1859-11-07

Maker(s)

Identification number

A photo portrait of Jackie Kay by Denise Else
A photo portrait of Jackie Kay by Denise Else

Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh. She is the third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate. A poet, novelist and writer of short stories, she has enjoyed great acclaim for her work for both adults and children.

Her first novel Trumpet won the Authors' Club First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize. She is also the author of three collections of stories and two poetry collections, and her memoir, Red Dust Road. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and divides her time between Glasgow and Manchester.

She collaborated with the University of Cambridge Museums as part of Thresholds (2013), responding to Kettle’s Yard.

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