Papers of Sarah Madeleine Martineau

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of two notebooks containing Martineau's diaries, describing her training at art colleges in London and her social and family life (1892-1914). Also includes a typescript of a lecture based on the diaries given by historian Elizabeth Crawford at a Women's History Network Conference, Sep 2005.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sarah Madeleine Martineau (1872-1972) was a successful Arts and Crafts jeweller. She was born in Clapham, London on 2 May 1872, to Utilitarians David and Sarah Martineau. Sarah, known as Lena, and her two unmarried sisters probably remained together in the family home until the 1940s, living near or with each other in South London until their deaths. Lena began her education boarding at Roedean School in Sussex. She initially attended Clapham Art School, and subsequently attended Westminster School of Art with her sister Lucy and Sophie Pemberton, a Canadian artist. By autumn 1897 Lena and Lucy had found a studio to rent and in 1899 and 1900 Lena concentrated on submitting pictures to the Royal Academy, all of which were rejected. Later that year she sat a modelling design exam, passing first class, and a life exam which was awarded a book prize in the National Competition run by the Science and Art Department of the Committee of the Council on Education and entered by thousands of art students. In 1902 she decided to commit to metal work, buying a muffle furnace and a year later studying metal work at Sir John Cass Technical Institute in Whitechapel. She was also a member of the Sir John Cass Arts and Crafts Society. By 1904 she was an established jewellery maker, and in 1906 she had had two pendants accepted for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Granfton Galleries. By 1909 she was showing her jewellery at various galleries and exhibitions, including the Society of Women Artists and was featured in 'Studio' magazine for various achievements. By the 1916 Arts and Crafts Exhibition her work was not exhibited suggesting she no longer actively participated in the arts and crafts scene. She died in 1972.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the Women's Library, May 2006.

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Geographical Names