Marion Crowe- Artist and Animal Welfare Campaigner

Sepia photograph of a woman looking off to the side.

Marion Cecilia Buckett was born on the 2nd April 1892 in Brompton Kent. She married Reginald Milton Crowe in Horsham in 1925 and they lived and worked at 57 High Street, Crawley.

From 1924 – 1968 Reginald is registered as being a Print seller and Picture Frame Maker. Involved in the community, he stood for Parish Councillor for Crawley in 1934. Marion is also registered at the shop as a photographer from 1938. One ex-Crawley resident remembers the art shop where “Mrs Crowe encouraged me in my artwork at school in the 1960s.”. In the museum collection we have some framed works which have a label on the back as they were framed in Reginald’s shop, The Studio.

Marion was an Art Deco Artist whose focus was on fantasy paintings with characters such as fairies. She worked under the pseudonyms Marygold or Tsanya, which some of her works are signed as. The museum has an example of her work, a card souvenir of her and Reginald’s wedding.  The picture is of two fairies kissing amongst yellow marigolds and a halo of gold light behind them. The card is signed by MARYGOLD. Below the work there is details including their initials, the wedding date, a shield that has a crow on one side and a marigold on the other, and finally the address of The Studio.

Marion was also an advocate for animal welfare in the UK from the 1930s. Prior to the ease of contacting national animal charities such as the RSPCA, The Studio was a focal point for animal welfare and re-homing in the Crawley before and after the New Town.

Many of Marion’s paintings were auctioned to finance animal welfare. It is thought that she was instrumental in getting a vet’s clinic in 91 High Street, Crawley, which was later the ‘Rat & Parrot’ pub. The vets only asked for contribution towards the treatment and the rest of the cost was subsided by the funds raised.

In the museums collection, we also have two prints, that were given by Marion to the donor’s mother. The works are both of men in religious clothing surrounded by animals including dogs, rabbits, birds, and squirrels. One is identified as St Francis, The Friend of the Animals & Birds and the other is not specified.

Reginald died in 1974 followed by Marion in 1979. The shop was passed to Mrs Mannion, who continued to support the animal charity. Later the shop was run by her son and moved to Church Walk before closing in the 1990s.

Today a few works by MARYGOLD can be found for sale on the internet, but otherwise she is unheard of. If you have more information about Marion or Reginald Crowe, please get in touch so we can add to what we know and promote this local artist.

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