The First Place by A Erwood

The painting shows a maid in tears in the middle of the room.


Oil on canvas
31.5 x 27 cm
Art Fund grant:
£5,155 ( Total: £13,750)
Acquired in:

She has been sweeping the hearth (or carpet) using a dustpan and brush. The title indicates the source of her unhappiness - she is overcome with the difficulties of her first position, away from her own home and family. It provides an accurate and detailed view of a mainstream middle-class home. It is also unusual because its subject is a servant’s experience. The experience of servants has tended to be overlooked by historians and they are under-represented in the museum’s galleries.


Christopher Wood, London; Sir David Scott, 1979; Sotheby's, London.

Venue details

The Geffrye Museum of the Home 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, London London E2 8EA 020 7739 9893

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

The museum is closed to the public for a major, transformational development project. It will reopen in winter 2019.
During closure, the restored almshouse will remain open for tours and a full programme of events will be run in the front gardens.