Norah Neilson Gray (1882-1931)
Painter and printmaker born in Helensburgh, Scotland into a wealthy ship-owning family. Her early studies were with private art teachers before moving circa 1901 with her family to Glasgow where she enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, 1901-06. There she studied under Fra Newbery and the Belgian Symbolist painter Jean Delville. Her friends and colleagues at this time included Evelyn Carslaw, Eleanor Moore and Margaret Macdonald known collectively at the ‘Glasgow Girls’.
After leaving the art school she soon returned, this time as a staff member and by 1910 had her own studio and held her first solo exhibition at the Warneuke's Gallery, Glasgow.
Gray exhibited at the RSA, RSW, GI, Glasgow Society of Lady Artists, NPS and Paris Salon and in 1914 was elected a member of the RSW. During World War I she worked as a nurse in France and after the war was commissioned to paint the Scottish Women's Hospital for the Imperial War Museum, London. In 1921 she became the first woman to be appointed to the Hanging Committee of the RGI. Despite ill-health (she suffered from cancer) she continued to show at the RA, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and at the ISSPG.