The Powder Puff Referee

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

The Powder Puff Referee

The Powder Puff Referee (with apologies to Mr Jack Solomons and Dr Edith Summerskill) (aka Boxing à la Summerskill), 1956–7
Chalk and watercolour, 47 cm x 35 cm

Edith Summerskill (1901–80) was educated at King's College London and trained as a doctor at Charing Cross Hospital. She was one of the founders of the Socialist Health Association, which spearheaded the National Health Service (1948). In 1948 she became Labour MP for West Fulham and later, when her seat was abolished, for Warrington. She served as Minister of National Insurance (1950–51), as a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee (1944–58) and as chair of the Labour Party (1954–5). She was a keen promoter of women's causes, and was also a prominent campaigner against boxing, publishing The Ignoble Art on the subject in 1956. Jack Solomons (1900–1979) was the most notable British boxing promoter of his day, putting on twenty-six world title fights. He frequently clashed with Summerskill over the dangers of the sport.
PROVENANCE: William Roberts (1965)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Leicester Galleries (1) 1958, Tate Gallery 1965, Anthony d'Offay Gallery (1) 1969, Exeter 1971, Hamet Gallery 1971, Hamet Gallery 1973, Manchester (2) 1973

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