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Nina Carroll

Nina Carroll (1932-1990) was a designer of murals, an illustrator of children’s books and a watercolour artist. She studied at Cheltenham School of Art and at the Ruskin School, Oxford. She lived in Kettering and later in Oxford. Her husband, John Steane, was headmaster of Kettering Grammar School in 1964 to 1976. Both Nina and her husband were founder members of the Kettering Civic Society, and John became their first Secretary. She exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters, the Society of Women Artists and the New England Art Club. Her works are in the collection of the Guildhall Museum, Northampton and the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, amongst others.

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Theatre Royal, Windsor, Berkshire
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15¼” x 19”. Signed Nina Carroll. Inscribed in pencil verso: ‘Theatre Royal, Windsor’.

The Subject
The Theatre Royal nestles in the shadow of…

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…Windsor Castle and produces a wide repertoire, ranging from the classics and pantomime to new works. The present building was constructed in 1910 on the site of an early 19th century theatre which had been destroyed by fire.

Market Square, Northampton
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15” x 18½”. Signed Nina Carroll.

The Subject
The Market Square in Northampton is one of the largest in England…

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…and was described by Daniel Defoe in the 18th century as one of the handsomest in England. This painting is a view of the south side of the Market Square, with the tower of All Saints’ Church in the background, as well as the copper dome of the Nationwide building (formerly Westminster Bank).

Former American Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15” x 19”. Signed Nina Carroll.

The Subject
The former US Embassy building was designed by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1960. It has…

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…a large gilded aluminium Bald Eagle on its roof, making it a recognisable London landmark. The statue in Grosvenor Square is a memorial to former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The building is due to be converted into a luxury hotel by the Qatari royal family. 

Oxford University Parks
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15” x 18¾”. Signed Nina Carroll.

The Subject
The buildings in the view are Keble College Chapel on the right; the science buildings and Museum of Natural History in the centre; and the Old Observatory on the left.

West Pier, Brighton (1978)
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15½” x 18¾”. Signed Nina Carroll and dated 1978. Inscribed: ‘Copy of Brighton West Pier for West Pier Restoration Exhibition’. Inscribed verso: ‘Nina Carroll, Cogges Manor Farm, Witney’.

The Subject
Brighton West Pier was built in 1866…

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…to the designs of the engineer Eugenius Birch. The Pavilion at the pier head was built in 1893 as a concert hall and was converted into a 1000-seat theatre in 1903. The Pier declined in the 1960s-70s and was closed for safety reasons in 1975, following a public campaign the preceding year to stop its demolition. In 1978 the Official Receiver passed the ownership of the Pier to the Crown Estate Commissioners, and the West Pier Trust was formed with sole right to operate the Pier. Partial restoration work was carried out in the 1980s-90s with HLF funding. In March 2003 the Pavilion was destroyed in an arson attack, and there was a further arson attack in May 2003 which lead to almost complete destruction of the Pier. HLF funding for the restoration project was withdrawn. The skeletal ruin of the Pavilion has become an iconic feature of Brighton’s seafront.

St Helen’s Wharf, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15¼” x 19”. Signed Nina Carroll and inscribed ‘St Helen’s Wharf, Abingdon’.

The Subject
The former St Helen’s Wharf overlooking the River Thames in Abingdon once thronged with…

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…merchant boats unloading and loading their wares. The magnificent sweep of the right angled bend in the Thames which occurs at this point makes it a vantage point for looking both up and down stream

White House at Datchet, Berkshire
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 6½” x 9”. Signed Nina Carroll. Inscribed in pencil verso: ‘White house at Datchet’. Label verso: Century Galleries, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire.

The Subject
This is a colourful view of Victorian houses on Southlea Road in the village of Datchet, Berkshire.