Helen Allingham in 1903
|Born||Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson
26 September 1848
Swadlincote, Derbyshire, England
|Died||28 September 1926
Haslemere, Surrey, England
|Other names||H. Paterson|
|Occupation||illustrator and watercolour artist|
|Spouse(s)||William Allingham (1874–1889)|
|Helen Allingham society|
Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson was born in Britain on 26 September 1848, at Swadlincote in Derbyshire, England, the daughter of Alexander Henry Paterson, a medical doctor, and Mary Herford Paterson. Helen Paterson was the eldest of seven children. The family moved to Altrincham in Cheshire when she was one year old. In 1862 her father and her 3 year-old sister Isabel died of diphtheria during an epidemic. The family then moved to Birmingham, where some of Alexander Paterson's family lived.
Paterson showed a talent for art from an early age, drawing some of her inspiration from her maternal grandmother Sarah Smith Herford and aunt Laura Herford, both accomplished artists of their day. Her younger sister Caroline Paterson also became a noted artist. She initially studied art for three years at the Birmingham School of Design (founded 1843). From 1867 she attended the National Art Training School in London, which had a separate division for women; her aunt Laura Herford had previously studied there. The School is presently the Royal College of Art.
While studying at the National Art Training School, Paterson worked as an illustrator, eventually deciding to give up her studies in favour of a full-time career in art. She painted for children's  and adult books, as well as for periodicals, including The Graphic newspaper. One highlight was her commission to provide twelve illustrations for the 1874 serialisation of Thomas Hardy's novel Far from the Madding Crowd in Cornhill Magazine. Her illustrations from this era were signed "H. Paterson". She became a lifelong friend of Kate Greenaway whom she met at evening art classes at the Slade School of Fine Art.
On 22 August 1874 she married William Allingham, Irish poet and editor of Fraser's Magazine, who was almost twice her age. After her marriage she gave up her career as an illustrator and turned to watercolour painting. In 1881 the family moved from Chelsea to Witley in Surrey. Helen started to paint the beautiful countryside around her and particularly the picturesque farmhouses and cottages of Surrey and Sussex for which she became famous. She went on to paint rural scenes in other parts of the country - Middlesex, Kent, the Isle of Wight and the West Country - and abroad in Venice, Italy. As well as landscapes, she completed several portraits, including one of Thomas Carlyle. In 1890, she became the first woman to be admitted as a full member of the Royal Watercolour Society.
- Walter Tyndale (1855-1943), influenced by Allingham and also lived in Surrey.
- "Helen Allingham R.W.S. (1848-1926)". Helen Allingham Society.
- Watts, Annabel. "Helen Allingham - Biography and Image Gallery at ArtMagick". ArtMagick.
- Allingham illustrated Juliana Ewing's Six to Sixteen: a story for girls (1876) and A Flat Iron for a Farthing
- Allingham, Peter (15 November 2002). "Helen Allingham's Cornhill Magazine illustrations for Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd (1874)". victorianweb.org.
- Smith, Lucy Toulmin (May 1892). "Women in Contemporary Art. Mrs. Allingham.". Atalanta 5: 455. "The signature H. Paterson, afterwards so familiar, was seen for the first time in the number for April 16, 1870, ..."
- The Helen Allingham Society
- "Biographies of local people". This is Cheshire. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Illustrated by Helen Allingham
- Huish, Marcus B. (1903). Happy England as Painted by Helen Allingham, R.W.S.. Adam & Charles Black. OCLC 9062256.
- Paterson, Arthur Henry (1905). The homes of Tennyson (Adam & Charles Black). Paterson was Helen Allingham's brother.
- Written by Helen Allingham
- Seedtime and reaping (Samuel Tinsley, 1877).
- Lester, Anthony Paul (1979). The Exhibited Works of Helen Allingham, 1848-1926. Oxfordshire: Wallingford. OCLC 16494169. See also The Exhibited Works of Helen Allingham, R. W. S., 1848-1926. Wallingford. 1979. OCLC 84054249.
- Taylor, Ina (2000). Helen Allingham's England. Caxton Editions. ISBN 978-1840670875. OCLC 50055173. New edition of Helen Allingham's England : an idyllic view of rural life. Exeter, Devon: Webb & Bower. 1990. ISBN 9780863503962. OCLC 26721725. Taylor's recent biography of Allingham.
- Watts, Annabel (2002). Helen Allingham's Cottage Homes - Revisited. ISBN 9780952388203. OCLC 228661464. Reproductions of Allingham's paintings of cottages along with contemporary photographs of the same structures.
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