Jessica Dismorr

Artist - A Selection of Illustrations and Writings

from the Modernist Journals Project (

She was born in Gravesend, Kent. Her family moved to Hampstead in the 1890s. She was at the Slade
School in 1902 and 1903, and later studied with Max Bohm. In 1910 she was in Paris, where she
attended the Académie de la Palette, where she worked with Metzinger, J-E Blanche, and J. D. Fergusson. She did illustrations for the magazine Rhythm in 1911, but then moved back to London where she met Wyndham Lewis and joined his Rebel Art Centre, later signing the Vorticist manifesto and exhibiting with the Vorticists. She also published poetry and prose in Blast. During World War I she served as a volunteer in France, and after the war her work became more and more abstract. She was elected a member of the London Group in 1925, and showed with the Allied Artists' Association in their abstract show in 1937.

(The MJP information above is partly drawn from Penny Dunford's Biographical Dictionary of Women Artists in Europe and America since 1850, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990.)

A Full Biography of:
Jessica Dismorr (1885-1939) : Artist, Writer, Vorticist  by Heathcock, Catherine Elizabeth,
University of Birmingham is online for free at:
Contains genealogy, biography, & a catalogue raisonne of Dismorr's work.


And Jessie Dismorr: Walking and Rewriting London by Francesca Brooks
explores the particular significance of Dismorr’s prose writings in Blast and their relation to the feminist and metropolitan cultures of her day.


Modernism, Magazines, and the British avant-garde: Reading Rhythm, 1910-1914 by Faith Binckes covers Dismorr's connections with Anne Estelle Rice, J.D. Fergusson, et al and Rhythm magazine.  In Footnote 32, we find quotes from hard-to-find Dismorr gallery exhibition catalogues:

Jessica Dismorr   (London: Mayor Gallery, 1925)
In the catalogue notes to the one solo exhibition Dismorr held during her lifetime, R. H.
Wilenski commented upon the artist's "courage, discrimination,  and... sense of her ability to play a part in the most typical artistic experiments of her generation" . 'Foreword' , Jessica Dismorr (London: Mayor Gallery, 1925) (unpag.)

Jessica Dismorr, 1885-1939: Paintings and Drawings  (London  Mayor Gallery, 1965).
In a retrospective, also held at the Mayor in 1965, William Lipke observed that:
 "The significance of this exhibition is not confined to the obvious aesthetic merit to be found in these works, but includes as well the unique opportunity for the spectator to trace the development of British Art from the fauvist work of Rice, Peploe, and Fergusson ... Jessica Dismorr's work presents a continuity of effort which illustrates in capsule form the stylistic development of 20th century British art. [from Binckes, Footnote 32]

Modernism, Magazines, and the British avant-garde: Reading Rhythm, 1910-1914,
by Faith Binckes; Oxford University Press (2010-07-08) ISBN 10: 0199252521 / ISBN 13: 9780199252527

Left: cover of

Rhythm ( Vol. 1 No. 2 )
London: The Saint Catherine Press
Autumn 1911


Select contributions of Jessica Dismorr
to Rhythm magazine


Rhythm ( Vol. 1 No. 4 ) , p. 31
London: The Saint Catherine Press, Spring 1912
Modernist Journals Project


Rhythm ( Vol. 1 No. 1 ) p. 13
London: The Saint Catherine Press, Summer 1911
Modernist Journals Project


Above: IZIDORA (Isadora)
by Jessie Dismorr
Rhythm ( Vol. 1 No. 2 ), page 20
London: The Saint Catherine Press, Autumn 1911

Left: Jessie Dismorr Illustration
Rhythm ( Vol. 1 No. 3 ), page 18
London: The Saint Catherine Press, Winter 1911
Modernist Journals Project


Above Left:  Self-Portrait from Richard A. Warren's Blog 'Jessie Dismorr - A Little Gallery'
Above Right: Design (1915) and The Engine (1915) from BLAST.


Landscape: Edinburgh Castle 1914-15
Jessica Dismorr; Victoria and Albert Museum
via BBC:Women of the Vortex

The Conversation - Dismorr
The Tyro ( Vol. 1, No. 2 ), London: Egoist Press, 1922
Modernist Journals Project (image 71)

Rhythm - Header and Footer Drawings - Dismorr and Thompson

Below: samples of header and footer drawings for Rhythm, by Jessie Dismorr and her American artist friend Margaret Thompson.  Dismorr and Thompson both attended the art school La Palette, along with William Zorach, who later became Thompson's husband.  Thompson (later Zorach) and her husband both exhibited in the famous Armory Show of 1913 in New York City.


Above - miscellaneous small header & footer drawings from Rhythm magazine 1911.
via modernist journals project
Left: Jessie Dismorr,     Right: Margaret Thompson, ( also kknown as Margaret Zorach, and Marguerite Zorach


The Tyro ( Vol. 1, No. 2 )
London: Egoist Press, 1922

Below: Jessica Dismorr's review of
a Russian Art Show at Whitechapel
Gallery in 1922.

Her work 'The Conversation' also
appeared in this issue,along with
work of other vorticist artists such
as Frederick Etchells and William

via Modernist Journals Project



Poems, 1918

Includes a hand-written version of 'MATINEE' on the first page

full free digital facsimile available online
from the John Henry Bradley Storrs Papers
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art


Below: A printed version of 'MATINEE' by Jessica (Jessie) Dismorr
The Little Review ( Vol. 4, No. 11 )
New York: Margaret C. Anderson, 1918-03

full free digital access via The Modernist Journals Project


Partial Catalogue List

(not including group shows)

-- Jessica Dismorr   (London: Mayor Gallery, 1925)
-- Jessica Dismorr, 1885-1939: Paintings and Drawings. Catalogue to an exhibition held at the Mayor Gallery, South Molton St, London, 28 April-15 May 1965.
-- Jessica Dismorr and her Circle, foreword by Quentin Stevenson. Catalogue to an exhibition held at the Archer Gallery, Grafton St, London, 2-29 February 1972.
-- Jessica Dismorr: Paintings c.1920-30, introduction and chronology by Quentin Stevenson. Catalogue to an exhibition held at the Marjorie Parr Gallery, King's Rd, Chelsea, London, 7-29 September 1973.
-- Jessica Dismorr, 1885-1939: Oils, Watercolours, Drawings, Catalogue to an exhibition held at the Mercury Gallery, Cork St, London,  April3-4 May 1974.
Jessica Dismorr & Catherine Giles the Fine Art Society, London, 19 June-21 July 2000.

Flashpoint Magazine: a Journal of the Arts and Politics - Issue #17