Dorothy Morse Brown remembered

Posted by Tenby Museum on Oct 10, 2017 Blog No Comments

As part of the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Tenby Arts Club, Tenby Museum has put on a small display of work by Dorothy Morse Brown.

Dorothy Morse Brown (nee Dorothy Leader Guy) was born on 17 November 1900 in Bristol. From the age of 10 she attended Hampton House School, a private girl’s school, where her artistic talent was recognised and developed. Her parents encouraged her interest in art. She enrolled at the City of Bristol Municipal School of Art. While studying here she met Sydney Adolphus Samuel Brown and became engaged to him in 1924. He was later to be known as Sam Morse Brown. They married in 1928 and in 1930 Sam became principal of Carmarthen School of Arts and Crafts. He resigned from the post in 1938 and on the outbreak of war enlisted in the Army. Whilst he was away Dorothy spent time at her parent’s house in Tenby. However, Sam had fallen in love with one of his sitters and the marriage broke down.

Dorothy settled in Tenby in her parents’ home in Broadwell Hayes. Following the war she donated two watercolour paintings to Tenby Museum. These were the first of many gifts she donated to the museum. In 1960 she took over the old town mortuary overlooking Tenby harbour as her studio.

Dorothy became actively involved in the social life of the town. In 1947 she became a founder member of Tenby and District Arts Club as well as serving on the committee. The first arts club session was held on 12 December 1947. She assisted in organising several art exhibitions and designed the first programme.

In the late 1950s there was growing concern among residents of Tenby regarding the council’s intentions to remove a large number of trees within the town. Three members of Tenby and District Arts Club, Dorothy among them, called a public meeting with the aim of forming “an association for the protection of the amenities of the town and the welfare of its people,” which lead to the creation of The Friends of Tenby (now Tenby Civic Society).

In 1977 health problems lead to Dorothy Morse Brown leaving Tenby to live with her son, Guy, and his family in Wombourne, Staffordshire. She described the eight years here as the happiest of her life.

Dorothy Morse Brown died on 7 November 1995, ten days before her 95th birthday.