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Library & Archives

February 10, 2012

Watercolour and pencil drawings of birds, mammals and boats of the Shetland Islands, with some drawings of plants of England and Scotland (1918-1974)



Grey Geese, Scotland

Image ref: 039659


Muriel Helen Dawson was born in Canterbury, New Zealand in 1897 and came to England in 1913 where she enrolled as a student at the Richmond School of Art. By 1918 she was at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, attending the Southend School of Art, and later that year moved to London where she studied at the Royal College of Art.



Charadrius hiaticula, common ringed plover

Image ref: 039663


Dawson moved to the Shetland Islands in the late 1950’s, where she sketched and painted prodigiously, amassing a collection of sketchbooks of drawings of mainly birds, mammals and landscapes. All of these, along with some earlier work, were bequeathed to the Natural History Museum upon her death in 1974.


To see more of Muriel's work please visit the NHM Picture Library




Feast of St. Stephen, Sussex, England

Image ref: 039657