Mabel Allington Royds was born in 1874 in Bedfordshire and grew up in Liverpool. At the age of fifteen Royds won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy in London but instead decided on the Slade School where she studied under Henry Tonks. After an apprenticeship in Paris, working in the studio of Walter Sickert, Royds accepted a teaching post at the Havergal College in Toronto. In 1911 Royds returned to the UK and began to teach at the Edinburgh College of Art, working alongside S. J. Peploe. Here she met the Scottish etcher E. S. Lumsden who she married in 1913. Together they travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and India - her experiences in India and Tibet in particular inspired many of her woodcut designs of the twenties. Royds returned to Scotland in 1918 where she returned to her post at the Edinburgh College of Art but also began to exhibit her own work both in Scotland, Manchester and further afield. She was a regular contributor to the Society of Scottish Artists, the Society of Artist Printers, and the Graver Printers in Colour. Royds is best known for her colourful woodcuts of flowers, along with Biblical and Indian scenes. Her technique was indebted to Japanese woodcuts.
Royds produced 61 colour woodblocks in total - we currently have in stock works from the twenties strongly influenced by her travels in Tibet and India as well as a small group of flower studies and religious scenes from the thirties.
Mabel Royds is in the collection of The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.