Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

Self Portrait

Oil on canvas. On loan from private collection.

Dod Procter

1890 - 1972

Dod Procter was born Doris Shaw and probably chose her androgynous epithet to thwart convention. Starting her artistic career as a teenage pupil at the Forbes' School, she went on to become perhaps the most famous artist of her day.



Dod Procter - 1890 - 1972

Doris (‘Dod’) Shaw was only fifteen when her mother brought her and her brother to study at Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes’ art school. It was there that she met fellow student Ernest Procter, whom she married in 1912.

Dod’s mother also took her to Paris, in 1910, to study at the Atelier Colorossi, where she was inspired by the impressionist and post-impressionist painters, especially Cezanne and Renoir.

Through the 1920s she specialised in painting the figure, usually single female figures, sometimes nude, others in softly draped clothes. One of these paintings, ‘Morning’, was bought by the Daily Mail for the Tate Gallery collections, which made Dod Procter a household name of the day.

Ernest Procter died suddenly in Newcastle in 1935. After a period of travelling, Dod returned to west Cornwall in 1938, living in the area until her death, occasionally travelling abroad and often exhibiting in London, including at the Royal Academy.

The style of Dod Procter’s later works changed considerably, as did the subject matter, which included landscapes, paintings of children and still-life. She died aged 80, thirty-seven years after her husband.

For further information, see 'A Singular Vision: Dod Procter', Alison James, published by Sansom & Co.