NPG 1767 (1b)

Copy of article from The Times, dated 5 May 1914, reporting the attack on the portrait, then on display at the Royal Academy, by the suffragette Mary Wood.

Article from The Times

Story of the Outrage

Yesterday being the opening day of the Academy, the rooms and galleries were crowded with visitors. The outrage occurred about 1.25pm. The picture was hanging in Room III. According to the accounts of witnesses the first indication of the attack was the sound of breaking glass. For a moment those in the neighbourhood of the picture were too surprised to take action and in that moment a second blow and then a third were struck by the woman who made not the slightest pause in her work of destruction.

Immediately a rush was made and, after a slight struggle, she was secured, several ladies assisting. The noise attracted visitors from other rooms, who showed their resentment of the outrage so vehemently that the police, who in a brief interval had taken the suffragist in charge, had to hurry her from the gallery. Meanwhile, a man who attempted to defend her and who seemed to the crowd to be a sympathizer was roughly handled. His spectacles were broken over his nose (he has since preferred a claim for a new pair), and he was driven out of the building.

The scuffle lasted for several minutes and naturally aroused great excitement amongst the visitors. As soon as the prisoner had bee removed the room was cleared and the picture taken from its place on the wall. Thereafter the Council of the Academy was hastily summoned. Mr. Sargent was sent for and came down to the Academy.