Artists in the Collection

Maeve de Markievicz

Born 1901, Sligo, Ireland
Died 1962, London, England

Maeve, named after the legendary Queen of Connacht, was born to Constance Markievicz in Lissadell, Co. Sligo on 13 November 1901. Her father was Count Casimir Dunin-Markievicz, Polish nobleman whose family owned an estate at Zywotowka in the Ukraine.
Very soon after Maeve’s birth, Countess Markievicz became re-immersed in the political and philanthropic activities that were to absorb her for the rest of her life. Maeve’s grandmother, Lady Georgina Gore-Booth, took charge of her and although Constance visited frequently, in time the relationship between the grandmother and granddaughter developed into one more like mother and daughter. At the age of 14 Maeve was sent to an exclusive English school. She later trained as a landscape gardener in England, where she spent most of her adult life. She graduated from Swanley Agricultural College for Women with a B.Sc. (Hort) degree.

Following the death of her mother in July 1927, Maeve severed almost completely her links with Ireland. Except for short holidays, England became her home. Around 1935 she tried her hand as a maker of home made sweets hoping to make a commercial venture of it. During World War II she took up work with the ‘Land Girls’ in Somerset and because of her training was assigned as a Labour Officer. She was later moved to Kent and during the final phase of the war was back teaching at Swanlea College. After the war she took up reclaiming and planning gardens around Hampstead that had been allowed to run wild during the war years.

In 1956, she decided to take after her mother and took up painting. With the same energy that had characterised Constance in her projects, Maeve made such progress in her new hobby that within two years she had achieved her first exhibition in Hampstead, England. Two years later she held her first Irish Exhibition in Dublin, which was opened by the Taoiseach, Mr. Lemass. But painting Irish scenes from memory in London had its drawbacks. More and more Maeve returned for inspiration to the landscape that had inspired Eva Gore-Booth and both W.B. and Jack Yeats.

After a long and serious illness in 1961 she returned to Sligo to recuperate. During this visit to Sligo she painted all the familiar haunts of her childhood. She passed away at her home in Parliament Hill, London in June 1962.