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Mary Fraser Tytler

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Title: Mary Fraser Tytler  
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Subject: List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, Compton Potters' Arts Guild, Scottish designers, Postman's Park, George Frederic Watts
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Mary Fraser Tytler

Mary Seton Watts
Mary Fraser Tytler painted by G.F. Watts
Born Mary Seton Fraser Tytler
Died 1938 (aged 88–89)
Compton, Surrey, England
Nationality Scottish
Education Slade and South Kensington School of Art
Known for Painting, Ceramics
Movement Gothic Revival
Art Nouveau

Mary Seton Fraser Tytler (married name Mary Seton Watts) (1849–1938) was a symbolist craftswoman, designer and social reformer.


  • Biography 1
  • Watts Mortuary Chapel 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
    • Notes 4.1
  • External links 5


Born in India, she was the daughter of Charles Edward Fraser Tytler of Balnain and Aldourie, but spent much of her youth in Scotland and settled in England in the 1860s.

Trained at the Epsom, Surrey.

After her marriage, she largely worked in the fields of Celtic and Art Nouveau bas-reliefs, pottery, metalwork and textiles. She co-founded the Compton Potters' Arts Guild and the Arts & Crafts Guild in Compton, Surrey. She designed, built and maintained the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton (1895); and had built and maintained the Watts Gallery (1903–04) for the preservation of her husband's work.

Tytler worked to create employment for impoverished people through the preservation of rural handicrafts, as well as trained workers in clay modelling for the Compton Potters' Guild and the work executed on the Watts Mortuary Chapel. She was a firm believer in the idea that anyone given the opportunity could produce things of beauty and that everyone should have a craft within which they could express themselves creatively. She supported the revival of the Celtic style, the indigenous artistic expression of Scotland and Ireland. In 1899, she was asked to design rugs in this style for the carpet company Alexander Morton & Co of Darvel, Liberty's main producer of furnishing fabrics. In cooperation with the Congested Districts Board, Morton had established a workshop in Donegal, Ireland, to employ local women, who had very little opportunity of earning a livelihood.

Tytler pioneered Liberty's Celtic style, with much of the imagery for the Celtic Revival carpets, book-bindings, metalwork and textiles for Liberty & Co. being based on her earlier designs at the Watts Mortuary Chapel.

Tytler was President of the Godalming and District National Union of Women's Suffrage Society[2] and she convened at least one women's suffrage meeting in Compton, Surrey.[3]

Watts Mortuary Chapel

See also


  • Barbara Coffey Bryant, "Watts, George Frederic (1817–1904)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 30 Dec 2006
  • Franklin Gould, Veronica Mary Seton Watts - Unsung Heroine of the Art Nouveau (1998) ISBN 978-0-9515811-2-4


  1. ^ "Compton Potter's Arts Guild". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. ^ See Craddock’s Godalming Directory, 1910, p.33, at Godalming Museum Library.
  3. ^ See V. Irene Cockroft, New Dawn Women: Women in the Arts & Crafts and Suffrage Movements at the Dawn of the 20th Century (Surrey: Watts Gallery, 2005), p.13.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Watts Chapel
  • Wolfsonian
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