Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.115.
Exhibited: La Biennale di Venezia, 1930, catalogue no. 136.
Joyce Peters was a dancer and associated with the Bloomsbury Group. She performed in London and New York, among other places, and danced with the famous Rambert company. Peters was a life-long friend of Gilbert Spencer, and helped him secure a number of portrait commissions. Spencer was a witness at the registry office when Peters married Commander A J G Langley.
This portrait was exhibited in the British Pavilion at the 1930 Venice Biennale, after Sir Ronald Graham the British Ambassador to Italy had successfully argued that Britain’s absence from the Biennale would be interpreted as a “sign of national indifference to art”. P.G. Konody, who had campaigned tirelessly through the 1920s, was still part of of the Pavilion organising committee, alongside other ongoing members Lady Cunard and Sir Joseph Duveen, as well as several others.
Ninety seven British artists were on view at the Pavilion in that year. This included Gilbert Spencer, as well as his older brother, Stanley. It also featured names such as Henry Moore, David Bomberg, Ethel Walker, and Gerald Leslie Brockhurst.
We are grateful to Glyn Hopkins and Geoff Peters for their assistance.