Dorothy Annan

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Dorothy Annan
Born Dorothy Ward
20 January 1900 (1900-01-20)
Pará, Brazil
Died 28 June 1983(1983-06-28) (aged 83)
Snettisham, Norfolk
Nationality English
Education Slade School of Fine Art
Known for Painting, Mural, Pottery
Movement Modernism, Cubism

Dorothy Annan (20 January 1900 – 28 June 1983) was an English painter, potter and muralist, married to the painter and sculptor Trevor Tennant. She was born in Brazil to British parents and was educated in France and Germany. Her works were frequently shown at the Leicester Galleries in London and she had her first solo show there in 1945.[1]


Born in 1900,[2] Annan exhibited with the Artists' International Association,[3] and once featured in an art show in an air-raid shelter beside work by Augustus John during World War II.[3] Annan was married to sculptor Trevor Tennant. She died in 1983.


Annan's paintings are in many national collections, she is also known for her tile murals, many of which have been destroyed in recent decades. Only three of her major public murals are believed to survive, the largest single example, the Expanding Universe at the Bank of England, was destroyed in 1997.[3]

Fleet Building telecom murals[edit]

The murals, now relocated to the Barbican

In November 2011 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) granted Grade II listed status to Annan's murals on the front of the Fleet Building, 70 Farringdon Street, formerly the largest telephone exchange in London. English Heritage advised the DCMS that the nine ceramic tile murals, which depict pylons, cables, telegraph poles and generators, were of "historic interest" to the telecoms industry and had "relative rarity as surviving works of 1960s mural art".[4] The listing was supported by the Twentieth Century Society and the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society, artist Frank Auerbach and Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain.[5]

The murals were commissioned at a cost of £300 per panel in 1960. Annan visited the Hathernware pottery in Loughborough and hand-scored her designs onto each wet clay tile, her brush marks can also be seen in the fired panels.[3]

The building is owned by Goldman Sachs, who wish to redevelop the site and oppose the listing of the murals.[4]

In January 2013, the City of London Corporation agreed to take ownership of the murals, and in September 2013 these were moved to a permanent location in publicly accessible part of the Barbican Estate.[6] They are displayed in their original sequence within an enclosed section of the Barbican Highwalk between Speed House and the Barbican Centre.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Frances Spalding (1990). 20th Century Painters and Sculptors. Antique Collectors' Club. ISBN 1 85149 106 6. 
  2. ^ Marsden, Christopher R. "Dorothy Annan and the Fleet Building Panels", pp 18-26 Journal of the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society Vol 18 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Dorothy Annan murals listed as former telephone exchange faces demolition". The Guardian. 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Goldman Sachs talks to Norman Foster over new European HQ in London". The Guardian. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  5. ^ "Fleet Building – The Design". Light Straw. n.d. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  6. ^ "Relocation of Dorothy Annan Ceramic Panels to Barbican Highwalk and Transfer of Ownership to City of London Corporation". City of London Corporation. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-09-26.