|Died||29 December 1944|
|Known for||English sculptor and artist|
|Hastings War Memorial|
Margaret Winser was born in Rolvenden near Tenterden, Kent in 1868, the daughter of Albert Winser, a farmer, and Mary Jane Winser. She began working as an assistant art teacher around 1891 and then studied art, possibly in Lancashire and at some time she was a pupil of Rodin
In February 1904, the Royal Mint invited students of the Modelling School of the Royal College of Art in South Kensington, London, to suggest designs for the reverse of the newly established Naval Good Shooting Medal with a requirement that "the subject shall be emblematical of the skill in shooting in the Navy". Margaret Winser's entry was selected and used, with the dies engraved by G. W. De Saulles. Although awards of the Naval Good Shooting Medal were discontinued in 1914, Margaret Winser's design is still used for the reverse of the Queen's Medal for Champion Shots for both the Royal Navy and the New Zealand Naval Forces.
From 1904 to 1929 Margaret Winser regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy, mainly as a sculptor of portrait and other medallions. She was one of the female sculptors that the Royal Society of British Sculptors considered including in the Franco-British Exhibition of Science, Art and Industries held in London in 1908.
After the First World War Margaret Winser was commissioned to design the Hastings and St Leonards War Memorial in Alexandra Park, Hastings. This included a bronze winged figure of victory and three bronze panels, depicting soldiers, sailors or airmen on active service. The memorial was dedicated on Sunday 26 March 1922.
Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden was bought by the actress Dame Ellen Terry in 1899, it being her main residence in her later years. Margaret Winser, who lived close by and who visited the house, produced a plaster medallion relief of Ellen Terry in 1913.
Dame Ellen died at home on 21 July 1928 aged 81, in the presence of her daughter Edith Craig and son Gordon Craig, who later recalled "Mother looked 30 years old ... a young beautiful woman lay on the bed, like Juliet on her bier". The next day Margaret Winser was invited to Smallhythe Place and made a mould of Ellen Terry's face, from which she produced three death masks. Of these, one remains at Smallhythe Place, one was given to Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1933 and the third was presented to the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1949. Two plaster casts of Terry's hands, were also made, probably by Margaret Winser, who also produced a bust of Ellen Terry based on these posthumous casts.
The plaster medallion, death mask and posthumous bust, along with a relief plaque of the Hastings War Memorial that she designed, remain in the collection at Smallhythe Place, which is now a museum run by the National Trust.
During her career, Margaret Winser created a large number of memorial plaques, statues and portrait medallions, including one of the violinist Joseph Joachim. Other work included providing the illustrations for a book 'Lays and Legends of the Weald of Kent' written by her sister Lilian Winser, published in 1897.
These are examples of her drawing and sculpture.
Bust of Ellen Terry, Smallhythe Place, Kent