Ellen Cicely Wilkinson

1 portrait on display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery

Ellen Cicely Wilkinson, by Elliott & Fry, 4 June 1940 - NPG x82075 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Ellen Cicely Wilkinson

by Elliott & Fry
half-plate negative, 4 June 1940
Purchased, 1996
Photographs Collection
NPG x82075

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Sitterback to top

  • Ellen Cicely Wilkinson (1891-1947), Labour politician; MP for Middlesbrough East and Jarrow, Minister for Education and Parliamentary Private Secretary. Sitter in 32 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Elliott & Fry (active 1863-1962). Artist associated with 10929 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Morrison's first dealings with Ellen Wilkinson were inauspicious. In 1934, he censured her and other colleagues for their involvement with local Communist groups, a move he abhorred. A dedicated socialist, she still became one of Morrison's strongest supporters, taking over his responsibility for wartime shelters. She lobbied hard for him to become Labour Leader in 1945, when she herself was appointed the first female Minister of Education. Her devotion hinted at a romantic attachment, but on balance this seems unlikely given the priority he placed on his political career. Close friends, he was devastated by her suicide in 1947.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top