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Helen Bradley

Helen Layfield Bradley MBE 
(1900 –1979) 

Helen Bradley was an English artist born in Lees, Lancashire, England. Her paintings, mostly in oils, typically depict life in Lancashire in the Edwardian era. Often spoken about in the same circles as L.S. Lowry her work couldn't be more different, it focuses on her childhood in Lee's and depicts many members of her family each painting coming with its own story. If Lowry focussed on the streets and working-class life in Manchester then Helen Bradley focussed on the upper-class family life, giving us all a glimpse at a privileged life in those times. 

In 1971 Jonathan Cape published the first of four books And Miss Carter Wore Pink, which was an instant success. Editions were then published in German, French, Dutch and Japanese, and a special edition produced for the US. The series, illustrated with Bradley's naive paintings, topped the bestseller lists in the early 1970s. Bradley appeared on a number of television chat shows of the 70s, including Pebble Mill at One, and the Russell Harty Show. She was also a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. The BBC and the NBC network made documentaries about her life and the Northern Ballet adapted her work for the stage. She died on 19 July 1979 shortly before she was due to be honoured with an MBE.

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