Portrait of South Shields actress by a renowned British painter is now on display

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The portrait of a South Shields born actress - created by one of Britain’s leading female painters - is the centrepiece of a new art exhibition.

Capturing a Star: Dame Flora Robson and other works by Dame Ethel Walker is now open to the public at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

The exhibition will run until March 2.

The works by the renowned Scottish artist are on loan from the Royal Academy of Arts and is part of a wider nationwide programme of talks, events and exhibitions to celebrate its 250th anniversary.

There are also some painting loaned by the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.

Geoff Woodward, Museum Manager, said: “It is very exciting to be part of the Royal Academy’s national programme to celebrate 250 years of this prestigious artistic institution.

“It is also wonderful to be able to display Ethel Walker’s portrait of South Tyneside’s famous actress Flora Robson, which has never been on display in the borough before.”

Capturing a Star explores the struggle these two women endured to achieve creative success despite societal obstacles, and is part of South Shields Museum & Art Gallery’s programme of exhibitions marking 100 years since some women were given the right to vote.

Flora Robson overcame early prejudice to her lack of conventional beauty deemed necessary for acting, and had a very successful career spanning over 50 years, starring in 60 films and more than 100 plays.

Dame Ethel is recognised as one of Britain’s leading female painters, who challenged traditional views of femininity.