- Brief Biography
1864 - 1948, Scottish
Jessie Newbery was born in Paisley and educated both in Paisley and Edinburgh before she became a student at Glasgow School of Art. She married the headmaster Francis Newbery in 1889. In 1894 she established her embroidery classes with the assistance of Miss Dunlop. Mrs Newbery also taught enamelling from 1895 until 1899 and mosaic work from 1896 until 1898. In 1906 she instituted an annual prize for embroidery which in 1915 was awarded to her younger daughter Mary who herself became an accomplished artist. Mrs Newbery retired in 1908 and during her fourteen years as head of the embroidery department her work was shown at many exhibitions in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. Her work was particularly appreciated in Germany. Illustrations of her work were used in Das Eigenkleid der Frau in 1904 and Moderne Stickerien used her designs between 1903 and 1909. Although she is best remembered for her embroidery her qualities as a designer were also exhibited in other materials. For example, in 1890 she was awarded a bronze medal for a stained glass design 'Tempestas' and in the 4th exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1893 she exhibited an altar frontal, repousse alms plate and silver repousse chalice and paten which she designed. These items were probably commissioned for St Brides Episcopal Church, Hyndland Road, Glasgow and the metalwork was executed by Kellock Brown. In the 5th exhibition held in 1896 there was exhibited a Book of Emblems, the tooling designed by Jessie Newbery. In the Turin International Exhibition of Decorative Art, 1902, her work was represented by an embroidered bedspread and an Axminster carpet worked to her design by Alexander Morton & Co of Darvel, Ayrshire. She retired to Corfe Castle, Dorset, with her husband in 1918, where she continued to embroider and to make her distinctive and individual clothes.