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date: 21 October 2019

Gibson, Elizabeth [Bessie]locked

(b Ipswich, Queensland, May 16, 1868; d Brisbane, July 13, 1961).
  • Nancy Underhill

Extract

[Bessie]

(b Ipswich, Queensland, May 16, 1868; d Brisbane, July 13, 1961).

Australian painter, active also in France. Gibson exhibited at the Royal Academy London and Paris Salons when they stood as bulwarks against modernism. In 1905, after art studies under Godfrey Rivers (1859–1925) at the Central Technical College, Brisbane had very little to offer her. The National Gallery of Queensland had no collection and few exhibitions came, so her aesthetic mainstays were the British magazines Studio and London Illustrated News.

Her respectable family supported Gibson’s decision to live in Paris as an artist, so she settled in Montparnasse and studied at Colarrossi’s with the New Zealand watercolourist Frances Hodgkins and at Castelucho’s, both haunts of foreign artists. During World War I Gibson went to Britain, then went briefly to Paris and finally, aged 79, returned to Brisbane in 1947. Gibson’s career included having one of her miniatures accepted at the Royal Academy in 1905, winning first prize for the best miniature in the First Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work, Melbourne in ...

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