Morgan Hall (front elevation), Fairford, Gloucestershire, Sargent's Studio at Abbey's home from summer 1891 (Frontpage)  (What's New)  (Thumbnail Index)  (Refer This Site)
Morgan Hall (front elevation)
Fairford, Gloucestershire
Sargent's Studio at Abbey's home
from summer 1891
The move from Broadway to Morgan Hall for use as a studio (which was only 40 miles south of Broadway) was from the pressuring of Abbey's newlywed wife ("Mary") Gertrude Mead. They (Abbey and Mary) had met at Broadway when they were staying with the Millet's at Russel House in 1888, and again in '89. The following year ('90) Edwin and Mary  were married in America and when they returned to England, Mary bristled under the notion that they would once again stay with the Millet's -- it wasn't a serious enough atmosphere. 

Mary's idea was to find other accommodations, and Sargent went along since the two artists were working on the same project. Edwin was well liked by all those at Broadway -- the Millet's having been very close to Abbey long time before he ever met Mary. The new Mrs. Abbey, on the other hand, a dominating, ambitious, and frosty personality felt Broadway wasn't a focused enough environment for two artists taking on such a serious undertaking as the murals at the Boston Public Library. This may have been a fair critique of the little Broadway colony during the summers and the gregarious Millet's in general, but everyone seemed to understand, without it ever having been said, that Mary couldn't countenance playing second fiddle to the mistress of the house. 

Although Broadway and the Millets carried on without Abbey and Sargent, the little wedge forced between them by Edwin's wife seemed to shatter the fragile Broadway colony's atmosphere. Life was taking a new turn for most. Those with children found their families growing up, it was time to get serious, and it never again quite equaled (as often happens in life) those years between 1885 and 1889. Though the Millets could understand, they never quite forgave Mary for taking their Edwin away.

So in 1890 when the Abbeys returned to England as newlyweds, they found this place in Gloucestershire which became their permanent residence. Sargent was still away in the Middle East doing research for his part of the murals and by the time he joined them, two art students from Paris: James Finn and Wilfrid de Glehn were there to assist.


Rear elevation, Morgan Hall 

Edwin Austin Abbey 


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By:  Natasha Wallace
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Created 8/21/2002