David McFall R.A. (1919 - 1988)


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1956/10 Mrs Epstein's headstone

30" wide x 42" high

From McFall’s diary:

10/10/1956 drawing out Mrs Epstein's stone

30/10/1956 Epstein to Highgate Cemetery thence to Parliament Sq.[Where McFall was cutting the Smuts inscription for Epstein - see 1956/11]

6/11/1956 Epstein £50 cash on a/c of headstone £3 already paid cemetery fee.

7/12/1956 Margaret Dunlop Epstein erected Highgate Cemetery; "Margaret Dunlop Epstein 1887-1947"

Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) was born in New York, his parents Orthodox Jews who had migrated to the US from Poland as refugees. After studying at the Art Students' League he moved to Paris in 1902, then to London in 1905, where he married his first wife, Margaret Dunlop and became a British citizen. Perhaps because she bore him no children, she tolerated Epstein's infidelities, allowed his models and lovers to live in the family home and raised Epstein's first child, Peggy Jean, who was the daughter of Meum Lindsell, one of Epstein's previous lovers. However, Margaret drew the line when an affair turned into a passion, and her tolerance did not extend to Epstein's relationship with Kathleen Garman, the woman who became the great love of Epstein's life: in 1923 Margaret shot and wounded Kathleen in the shoulder. [www.epstein.org.uk]

Kathleen was the mother of Epstein's son Theo, born in 1924, and daughters Kitty (1927) and Esther (1929). In her fruitless efforts to distract Epstein from Kathleen, Margaret encouraged him to indulge in more transitory affairs, one of which produced his second son, Jackie, in 1934. The mother, an art student, left the little boy with the Epsteins and he, too, was reared by Margaret. His birth was kept a secret from Kathleen for several years.

Despite all this, Epstein and his wife remained together until her death in 1947, while Kathleen and her children lived independently on the sidelines. In 1954 Epstein was knighted and the following year he and Kathleen married; as Lady Epstein, she survived him by 20 years, dying in 1979.

Mask of Margaret Epstein

1916 by Jacob Epstein

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