BLACK COUNTRY WOMEN The legacy lives on ... BE INSPIRED
Fanny Bunn was born in 1870 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire. She lived with her parents and older sister at Hill Top,
then Walsall Street and later on Beeches Road.
After completing her junior and senior school education, Fanny continued on to art school at the Birmingham Municipal
School of Art.
Fanny’s work was very much in the Pre Raphaelite style, using romantic, historic and legendary tales as themes. She
was very talented in design and composition and developed the skills to draw and paint professionally. Fanny must
have been influenced by the industry around her because she also contributed memorable works of art in other
mediums including enamelled panels and glassware.
During the 1890’s Fanny's work won awards - The Legend of Sandalphon was admitted to the National Art Competition
at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where it was exhibited. The subject Sandalphon is an archangel responsible for
protecting unborn children.
Around 1901, Fanny Bunn briefly took on the pseudonym 'Peacock', which was also the subject of her prize winning
design for an enamelled decorative panel. She won a gold medal and £25, for her enamelled panel of La Belle Dame
Sans Merci, in 'rich tones of blue, violet and peacock' (as reported in East and South Devon Advertiser in 1902). This
piece resides to date in the V&A.
In 1904 she won the Princess of Wales scholarship of £25 for her piece entitled The Victor. This enamel panel is now in
the collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The Arts and Craft Magazine's coverage of the National Art
Competition in 1904 praised her 'brilliant and harmonious' colouring of the scene and 'exquisite translucence of the
enamels', lifting her work above the 'commonplace'.
The quality of her work and successful accolades made her famous and brought her back to the Birmingham School of
Art as a teacher of enamelling in 1905.
Unfortunately, Fanny's work is rarely on display these days, however one piece is on constant show at Hereford
Cathedral. Her enamelled portrait of the organist and musical director of the Cathedral, George Robertson Sinclair
is displayed on one of the walls. Fanny's work was displayed at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Autumn
Exhibition of 1921, where a trinket bowl entitled Fairies and a silver powder box Memory where attributed to her.