Portrait of Daughter by Patricia Smith (1928–1971)
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Bethlem Museum of the Mind
This picture is one of five held at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind by Patricia Smith. Frustratingly, there is little information about the artist, other than, at some period in her life, she was a psychiatric patient and that she produced artwork. This particular picture is also known as ‘Portrait of My Daughter’, and, although it is likely that it is actually a picture of her daughter, we cannot be absolutely certain. It is painted in a naïve style with a good sense of design and an interest in pattern. Her other pictures in the Bethlem collection are mainly in the same style and show the same interest in design. The subjects of these paintings include mothers and children, and also cats and dogs. There is one atypical picture, which is painted in a raw, expressionistic manner and is entitled ‘Jesus Christ Almighty’. It is quite different from the other, more tranquil works, but as we have no personal details about the artist, we do not know the context in which it was produced. Patricia Smith's work was featured in an exhibition, ‘Four Ages of Women’, held recently at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and which sought to bring together artworks depicting women at key points in their lives. Importantly, the artworks were all created by women.
Thanks to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind for permission to feature this work.
Thank you Allan Beveridge for providing the description of the cover image.
We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal and would welcome suggestions or pictures, which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB, UK or firstname.lastname@example.org.