Rose Henriques’ Paintings
A few years ago, Clive Bettinson of the Jewish East End Celebration Society rescued a series of watercolours from the basement of the Whitechapel Library where they were being walked upon. Today, Rose Henriques’ Paintings have been restored and are the subject of a new exhibition at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives researched by Sara Ayed.
Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Stoke Newington, Rose devoted herself to life of altruistic endeavour, serving as a nurse at Liverpool St Station in the First World War and then as an ambulance driver based in Cannon St Row in the Second World War.
In 1917, she married Basil Henriques and together they established and ran the settlement in Berners St (later known as Henriques St) pursuing philanthropic work among the Jewish community in the East End for more than half a century.
Yet somehow Rose also managed to produce a stream of paintings that document the times she lived in intimate human detail, exhibiting her work at the Whitechapel Gallery from 1934 onwards and holding two solo shows there,’Stepney in War & Peace’ in 1947 and ‘Vanishing Stepney’ in 1961.
Coronation Celebrations in Challis Court, 1937
Nine O’Clock News, The Outbreak of War
The New Driver, Ambulance Station, Cannon St Row
Next Day, Watney St Market, 1941
Bombed Second Time, The Foothills, Tilbury & Southend Railway Warehouses, 1941
Dual Purpose, School Yard in Fairclough St, Tilbury & Southend Railway Warehouses, forties
Line outside Civil Defence Shelter, Turner St, 1942
Stepney Green Synagogue, forties
Club Row Animal Market Carries On, 1943
Fait Accompli, Berner St, 1951
Workrooms for the Elderly, 1954
Rose Henriques (1889- 1972)
Stepney in Peace & War, The Paintings of Rose Henriques runs until 6th March at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 277 Bancroft Rd, E1, with a talk by the curator on Thursday 30th January at 6:30pm