By Jim Rees
Thursday, 8 March 2018, marks International Women’s Day. It is a day to remind us all – men as well as women – of the struggle that females have endured to be regarded as equal partners in the world of adults.
Many women justifiably point out that there is still work to be done, but it is undeniable that the last 100 years have seen remarkable milestones reached and overtaken.
It was only in February 1918 that voting rights were extended to women in Britain and Ireland, albeit with more restrictions than those imposed on men.
By that time, Sarah Purser had already made a name for herself as an artist.
Purser was born in Dun Laoghaire, then Kingstown, on 22 March, 1848, but moved to Dungarvan soon after where her father Benjamin was a very successful brewer and flour miller.
The family business allowed her to be educated in Switzerland, and her mother, Ann (née Mallet), was related to the famous Irish artists Frederick William Burton and Walter Osborne. She therefore had a rich inheritance from both sides – money and art.