AN 'URGENT' appeal to buy a historic painting for an Oxford college has been launched by the former editor of the Guardian newspaper.

Alan Rusbridger launched an appeal on JustGiving to prevent the painting by William Strang being removed from Lady Margaret Hall - the first Oxford college to accept women students.

Mr Rusbridger is seeking to raise £8,000 to buy the work, which depicts Eileen ‘Dolly’ Henry, an Irish model of dresses at a Regent Street department store, who was the lover, and later murder victim, of the artist John Currie.

Writing on his JustGiving page, he said: “Currie abused her and she escaped to London from living with him in the country. Currie stalked her to her new address and, after spending the night with her, shot her dead.

He continued: “It can serve as a resource to reflect on sexual violence, obsession, the role of the ‘muse’ and changing ideas of female sexuality.”

On October 8, 1914, Currie murdered Dolly Henry in a flat in Chelsea, before turning the gun on himself. Dolly died, aged 21, before a doctor could see her, and Currie died three days later from his wounds.

It is known that Dolly Henry had been sitting for the Strang painting shortly before her death.

Mr Rusbridger set up the appeal yesterday morning before it goes up for auction today. Visit