Marjory Lester

Marjory Lester (1914-97) was a British painter of watercolors and pastels.  Her subject was the city of Banbury in Oxfordshire, especially the downtown area.  Late in life, after retiring, she began painting.  The paintings were initially for her children and grandchildren.  Memories of Banbury and These Golden Days, her two books of paintings, also included reminiscences of her life in Banbury.  To her surprise, they sold quite well.

Lester was a member of Banbury Quaker Meeting.  She painted two pictures of Banbury Meeting, one depicting Friends entering the Meetinghouse, the other showing Friends sitting in Meeting for Worship.  Both are a mix of Quakers in plain and contemporary clothes, a reflection of the transition of Friends in the early 20th century.  A series of her prints, Quaker and non-Quaker, hang in the Meetinghouse.

Marjory Lester was a charming painter, a sort of Quaker Grandma Moses.  There is an innocence about her pictures.  When I first saw her them, I thought they were a child’s paintings.

Gary Sandman

September 2021

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