Doris Zinkeisen 1898-1991
Doris Zinkeisen was a painter, stage-set and costume designer, writer and noted horsewoman, born in Kilcreggan, Dunbartonshire, the sister of Anna Zinkeisen the painter. She studied at Harrow School of Art, and then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools. Her first painting was shown at Royal Academy in 1918, a portrait of Anna, done when Doris was only 16. Early on she was taken up by the impresario Nigel Playfair, which led to a lifelong association with the theatre. She worked with C B Cochran; painted the portraits of many notable actresses, such as Anna Neagle and Evelyn Laye; worked at the Old Vic with Laurence Olivier; created his make-up for the film Richard III; and wrote a key book, Designing for the Stage. Doris Zinkeisen did murals for the liner Queen Mary’s Verandah Grill; won bronze, silver and gold medals at the Paris Salon; and at the end of World War II was the first artist to enter Belsen concentration camp, two of her paintings of it being in the Imperial War Museum. She was a fine horsewoman, winning the Moscow Cup for the Supreme Hack Championship at the International Horse Show in 1934. Doris Zinkeisen’s work, which often features horses and carriages in period settings, is noted for its clean draughtsmanship, unique palette and unmistakable inter-war stylishness. She died at Badingham, Suffolk.