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Naval Officers of World War I

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Naval Officers of World War I

by Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope
oil on canvas, 1921
104 in. x 202 1/2 in. (2641 mm x 5144 mm)
Given by Sir Abraham ('Abe') Bailey, 1st Bt, 1921
Primary Collection
NPG 1913

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Current affairs

Marie Stopes, campaigner for women's rights and pioneer of family planning, opens her first clinic in London, offering a free service to married women. While Stopes's forthright and open-minded attitudes have helped to change opinion about family planning and sex, her opinions on eugenics have been criticised and are now out-of-step with current thinking.

Art and science

British-born star of Hollywood Charlie Chaplin visits London where he is greeted by thousands. In 1921 Chaplain made his film, The Kid, which told the story of a tramp who finds an abandoned baby in an alley and decides to look after him. The portrayal of poverty in the film drew on Chaplain's own experiences of growing up in a working class family in London.


The Anglo-Irish Treaty partitions Ireland into the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland. The Irish Free State was granted independence, while six of the Northern counties of Ulster decided to remain part of Britain. The treaty came into effect in 1922.

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Mr M.E. Reed

13 May 2021, 00:51

Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope and Sir Oswald Birley were both members of the Royal Academy. Birley was "saved from obscurity" by a one-off exhibition: 'Power & Beauty: The Art of Sir Oswald Birley’ held at Philip Mould & Co. in 2017. Whilst Cope and Birley painted leading politicians, militarians and royalty, they also undertook a number of portraits of local county council and institutional leaders. Cope painted a portrait of Leeds Lord Mayor Charles Lupton, Chairman of the Leeds General Infirmary (1900-1921). Lupton was also painted by Birley around the same time - 1921 - when Lupton's long tenure as chairman was finishing. Lupton's relative, Henry Dubs Middleton, was also the Chairman of the Leeds General Infirmary (1928-1932) which had recommended Cope and/or Birley also paint Middleton's portrait. In 1929, the 37th annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London presented works by both Cope and Birley. The two artists shared "artistic understandings"; Cope's 1919 portrait, ' The Right Honourable T. F. Halsey (1839–1927), Chairman of Quarter Sessions and Hertfordshire County Council' is credited as being "after Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley".

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