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Article

(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(Vladimir Jossif)

(b Vienna, Oct 13, 1920).

Israeli painter of Austrian birth, active in Australia. He grew up in Warsaw. His father, the pseudonymous Jewish writer Melech Ravitch, owned books on German Expressionism, which were an early influence. Conscious of rising anti-Semitism in Poland, Ravitch visited Australia in 1934 and later arranged for his family to settle there. Bergner arrived in Melbourne in 1937. Poor, and with little English, his struggle to paint went hand-in-hand with a struggle to survive. In 1939 he attended the National Gallery of Victoria’s art school and came into contact with a group of young artists including Victor O’Connor (b 1918) and Noel Counihan, who were greatly influenced by Bergner’s haunting images of refugees, hard-pressed workers and the unemployed, for example The Pumpkin-eaters (c. 1940; Canberra, N.G.). Executed in an expressionist mode using a low-toned palette, they were among the first social realist pictures done in Australia.

In 1941...

Article

Bridget Whitelaw

(b St Petersburg, May 9, 1828; d London, March 15, 1902).

Swiss painter and illustrator of Russian birth, active in Australia. He spent his childhood in Russia and in 1845 returned to his father’s home town, Lausanne, where he studied painting at the Musée Arlaud under J. G. Guignard (1811–97). In 1851 he moved to London where he studied lithography under Ludwig Gruner, and in 1853–4 he studied watercolour painting in Rome. He arrived in Australia on 25 December 1854 and, after visiting the goldfields, started working as an illustrator for local newspapers. His work was politically perceptive rather than skilled in its draughtsmanship. Between 1858 and 1864 he accompanied scientific expeditions into the wilderness. Some of the studies made on these trips served as preparatory sketches for his grandiose landscape The Buffalo Ranges (exh. 1864; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria), the first Australian painting purchased for the National Gallery of Victoria.

In November 1865 Chevalier visited New Zealand and explored the South Island for eight months, completing several hundred sketches and watercolours that reveal his brilliance in this field. Chevalier was a founder-member of the Victorian Society for the Fine Arts in Melbourne, where his house provided a centre for the city’s artistic and literary élite. However, he left for London in ...

Article

Robert Smith

(b Melbourne, Oct 4, 1913; d Melbourne, July 5, 1986).

Australian painter, printmaker, draughtsman, sculptor, cartoonist and illustrator. Largely self-taught, he began printmaking in 1931 and worked as a caricaturist, cartoonist and illustrator for the weekly and left-wing press, his outlook influenced by experience on the dole and political struggle during the Depression. In 1941 he began oil painting, his first pictures being mainly a celebration of Australian working-class tenacity during the 1930s: for example At the Start of the March (1944; Sydney, A.G. NSW). A founder-member of the Contemporary Art Society in 1938, he initiated its 1942 anti-Fascist exhibition and helped organize an Artists’ Unity Congress, receiving awards for his paintings of miners in the ensuing Australia at War exhibition in 1945. From 1939 to 1940 he was in New Zealand and from 1949 to 1952 in Europe, mostly London. Later he made frequent trips to Britain and France, as well as visiting the USSR and Mexico.

Counihan’s imaginative and creative versatility enabled him to produce extended pictorial metaphors for inherent contemporary crises, embodying potent artistic responses to specific conditions of oppression and discrimination, the nuclear threat and attendant social alienation. From the late 1960s he created images in numerous interrelated series challenging Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, for example ...

Article

Janda Gooding

(b Perth, July 6, 1915; d Perth, May 25, 2000).

Australian painter and book illustrator. Grand-daughter of a pioneer pastoralist of the Kimberley region in Western Australia, she first saw the Kimberley in her teens and was profoundly influenced by contact with the indigenous people. Working with her sister, Mary Durack (1913–94), she produced many illustrated children’s books that drew upon the lives and stories of indigenous children. The most popular children’s book was The Way of the Whirlwind (1941). Travel to Europe in 1936 and 1937 allowed her an opportunity to see great art collections and, during another visit in 1955, she studied briefly at the Chelsea Polytechnic in London. Durack’s first solo exhibition was in 1946, with an exhibition held in Perth of pictures of the north-west of Western Australia. Indigenous people of Western Australia were prominent subjects in this and many of her later exhibitions throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She spent much time in indigenous communities sketching Aborigines in remote camps or fringe settlements near towns....

Article

Gavin Fry

(Stuart Leslie)

(b Warialda, NSW, Feb 6, 1915; d Sydney, Aug 17, 1989).

Australian illustrator, painter and writer. He studied under Dattilo Rubbo (1871–1955) in Sydney before travelling to London to work (1935–6) under Mark Gertler and Bernard Meninsky (1891–1950). Extensive travel through Africa on his return journey to Australia helped develop his love of the exotic and an interest in non-Western art. In the early 1940s he worked in close association with Russell Drysdale, making a reputation as a talented figure and landscape draughtsman and colourist. He enlisted in the Australian army in 1942 and in 1945 he was commissioned as an Official War Artist, working in New Guinea and Borneo in the last months of World War II. He published two illustrated wartime memoirs, Gunner’s Diary (Sydney, 1943) and Painter’s Journal (Sydney, 1946), which strengthened his reputation as a writer and illustrator of great wit and charm.

After a period working in the small country town of Hill End, Friend left Australia for more than 20 years, living and working first in Sri Lanka and then for an extended period in Bali. Within Australia his work was associated with the ...

Article

(b Birmingham, March 15, 1863; d Waverley, Oct 1, 1930).

Australian painter, etcher and illustrator, also active in England. In his formative years he undertook illustrative commissions for the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, as well as for the Australian Town and Country Journal and other publications. For a time he painted with his friends Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder at their camps around Mosman, or on trips to Richmond and along the Hawkesbury River. In his best paintings of this period he achieved a lyricism and sure handling of paint that resembles the work of Conder. During this period he also became interested in etching. In 1900 he moved to New York and the following year he travelled to London, where he continued to work as a black-and-white artist with the London Graphic and Black and White. He painted landscapes depicting picturesque sights and developed an interest in monotypes, using the delicacy of this medium to create soft, low-key images of atmospheric subjects. He worked in the tradition of English landscape painters, such as John Constable and John Sell Cotman, producing calm, quiet, understated images....

Article

(b Hamstead, nr Birmingham, July 12, 1812; d Melbourne, Oct 21, 1895).

English illustrator, draughtsman, writer and painter, active in Australia. She was educated at home and was taught by Thomas Lawrence to paint portrait miniatures on ivory. In 1832, at the age of 20, she earned the respect of Henry Parkes (later Premier of New South Wales, Australia) for her writings in support of the Chartist movement, begun in Birmingham in that year. In 1835 she published her first book, Poems: With Original Illustrations Drawn and Etched by the Authoress (London, 1835), and the following year wrote and illustrated The Romance of Nature or The Flower Seasons, containing 26 coloured plates engraved after her original drawings. She married her cousin Charles in 1839 and moved to Sydney, Australia, and then to Tasmania. Having attributed her botanical knowledge to a study of the works of the draughtsman and engraver James Sowerby (1757–1822), she described and illustrated the plant and animal life of Tasmania and painted landscapes and miniatures. Some of her writings are in the form of picturesque travel books accompanied by her illustrations, for example ...

Article

David P. Millar

(Murray)

(b Sydney, April 6, 1927).

Australian photographer. He was introduced to the creative possibilities of the camera when his father brought home a book on the work of Edward Weston. From 1948 until 1951 he worked in the studio of Max Dupain, where he learnt professional studio techniques during the week, walking the streets with a camera in his spare time. A rigorous apprenticeship refined an inherent aesthetic sensitivity. His growing interest in photojournalism then led Moore to London. He was commissioned by Time, Life, Fortune, Look and The Observer and was also included in the famous exhibition at MOMA, New York, the Family of Man (1955).

In 1958 Moore returned to Sydney, where he specialized in American magazine and industrial commissions, notably with Life Books, National Geographic and Exxon. As the public became sated by photojournalistic essays, and the magazines that published them were undermined by the popularity of television, Moore refined his work; instead of the dramatic situation and the climactic moment, he began, as he said, ‘to look for the ordinary and show how extraordinary and meaningful it is’. In the 1970s, influenced by the coastal landscape of his Lobster Bay retreat, he began to explore form, sensuality and rhythm. Moore’s work has a spontaneous freshness that can transform the otherwise straight picture. He had an unerring ability to capture the underlying forms within his subject and to be sensitive to the relationships of their shapes. Underpinning these strengths is a warmth of feeling for the world and the people that inhabit it, thereby avoiding a cerebral and analytical result....

Article

Anne Gray

(Millichamp)

(b Malvern Wells, Worcs., 1868; d Hamilton, April 3, 1922).

New Zealand draughtsman, illustrator and teacher of English birth, best known for his Gallipoli sketches. In his formative years he painted portraits and allegorical works and around 1912 he moved to London, where he enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art. He subsequently joined Pearson’s Magazine as a staff artist.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Moore-Jones joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Britain, giving his age as 32, serving in Egypt and Gallipoli with the 1st Field Company of New Zealand Engineers. He participated in the allied landing at Anzac Cove in April and was subsequently attached to Lieutenant-General Sir William Birdwood’s headquarters’ staff. He produced topographical pencil and watercolour sketches of the terrain under dangerous conditions, which provided the basis for planning operations in this area. Injured in 1915, he was invalided to Britain, where he made further watercolours based on his Gallipoli experiences. These watercolours are picturesque views, painted with a light, controlled touch, in the English tradition. They were shown in Britain, and later toured New Zealand where thousands attended the exhibitions and heard his talks about the Gallipoli campaign....

Article

Robert Smith

(Leslie)

(b Melbourne, Nov 23, 1929).

Australian cartoonist, printmaker, writer, illustrator, film maker and sculptor. After employment as an illustrator in Melbourne (1949–52), he worked in London as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist (1954–60). On the return journey to Australia he formed a lasting interest in South-east Asia, publishing the resulting perceptive and deceptively simple drawings with commentary in the first of his many illustrated books. He worked as a freelance artist in Melbourne until his appointment as resident cartoonist for the Sydney Daily Mirror in 1963 and the newly established national daily, The Australian, from 1964 to 1973. He quickly achieved popularity and repute, especially for his penetrating visual comments on involvement by Australia and the USA in the Vietnam War. He had little formal training in art and developed for himself a free-ranging personal style, which was widely emulated.

From 1970 Petty made or scripted numerous films, often combining actuality with animation and incorporating his own caricatural kinetic sculptures. After some earlier pioneering sculptural works, he created the first of what he called his ‘machine sculptures’, the ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(Ernest)

(b Richmond, Victoria, Dec 17, 1924; d Cottles Bridge, Victoria, Oct 14, 1990).

Australian painter and illustrator. He enlisted at the age of 18 and served with the Australian Imperial Forces during World War II. While hospitalized in New Guinea for several months, he turned to art as a means of expressing his concern for humanity. Returning home, he studied at the National Gallery Art School, Melbourne, under William Dargie (b 1912) from 1947 to 1950. In 1951 he moved to Cottles Bridge on the outskirts of Melbourne, built a house and studio in the bush and devoted himself to painting.

In 1954 Pugh travelled across the Nullarbor Plain. His experience of the vast uninhabited landscape altered his tonal approach to painting to an emotional expressionist style, which used sharp colour contrasts to convey his understanding of ‘the beauty and terror, the soft and hard qualities of nature’. His work received recognition in 1955 when exhibited in Group of Four at the Victorian Artists’ Society. In the following years, his concern for the preservation of the Australian landscape and its wildlife was reflected in bush landscapes studded with native animals and birds. These at times brutal images revealed his knowledge of the bush and the constant struggle for survival in nature....

Article

Heather Curnow

(b Teignmouth, Devon, July 3, 1825; d Wadhurst, E. Sussex, Jan 3, 1915).

English painter and illustrator. He was the grandson of the antiquarian Joseph Strutt (1749–1802) and the son of the miniaturist William Thomas Strutt (1777–1850). He trained in Paris from 1838 to 1845 in the studios of Michel-Martin Drolling and Joseph-Nicholas Jouy (b 1809), and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1850 he went to Melbourne, where he contributed to the Illustrated Australian Magazine, visited the Ballarat gold fields and recorded the meeting of Victoria’s first Legislative Council. He received numerous commissions for portraits of important Melbourne public figures including politicians and the explorer Robert O’Hara Burke. In 1855–6 he lived in New Zealand and produced accomplished paintings, drawings and watercolours of his pioneering life in the bush, the Maoris and the scenery around New Plymouth (e.g. The Beach, New Plymouth, c. 1856; Wellington, NZ, Turnbull Lib.). Returning to Melbourne in 1856, Strutt became a founder-member of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts and sketched the departure of the Burke and Wills exploring expedition from Melbourne in ...

Article

Tony Mackle

(b Auckland, Aug 4, 1906; d Wellington, June 6, 1964).

New Zealand printmaker, book illustrator and painter . Taylor had no formal art training, but his work in both jewellery manufacturing and commercial advertising developed his superb skills as a draughtsman and his innate sense of design. Significantly, from 1944 to 1946 Taylor was appointed as art editor and illustrator for the Schools Publications branch of the New Zealand Education Department. He saw the merits of wood-engraving for illustration in school journals and during the remainder of his career created over 200 woodblock images of the flora and fauna of New Zealand and Maori mythology. International recognition for his wood-engraving came through exhibitions in New York (1954) and in Russia (1958).

In 1952 Taylor received a New Zealand Art Societies Scholarship with which he studied Maori life and society, publishing in 1959 Maori Myths and Legends through his own publishing house, The Mermaid Press. Taylor also illustrated books published by the Wingfield Press, Pelorus Press and A. G. & A. W. Reed, as well as encouraging the graphic arts and printmaking through his involvement with the New Zealand Print Council and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts....

Article

Janda Gooding

(b Ashford, Kent, March 4, 1887; d Perth, June 11, 1944).

Australian painter, printmaker and illustrator of English birth who worked mostly in Western Australia. After initial studies at the St Martin’s School of Art and at the City of London Guilds, he worked as an artist and illustrator for several publications before emigrating to Western Australia for health reasons. He arrived in Perth on 11 May 1915 and worked as a commercial graphic artist before taking a post as a public servant in Narrogin.

Returning to Perth in 1921, he became Assistant Art master to J.W. R. Linton (1869–1947) at Perth Technical School. It was from this time that he first started to make colour woodcut prints by the Japanese method of hand-colouring the individual blocks. His prints achieved delicate tonal variations with a strong sense of oriental design and their simplicity and attractiveness made them popular among a wide audience. A 1924 article in The Studio magazine brought his work to international prominence and a print was acquired by the British Museum. He produced many exquisite watercolours of the local landscape and exhibited these widely throughout Australia with a solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London in ...

Article

Miles Lewis

(b Sudbury, Suffolk, Nov 26, 1821; d Melbourne, Aug 9, 1898).

Australian architect of English birth. He worked in London for the English architect and illustrator Thomas Allom (1804–72). In 1849 he emigrated to Melbourne and entered a partnership as architect and surveyor with his brother James, who was already established in business as a local builder. Their first prominent commission was St Paul’s church in the centre of Melbourne (1850), subsequently replaced by Butterfield’s Cathedral. The partnership ended in 1854, when James went to England, and Webb practised for four years in partnership with Thomas Taylor. His design for St Andrew’s church, Brighton, Melbourne (1856–7), shows unmistakable characteristics of buildings that he had sketched before leaving England. Melbourne Grammar School (1856) is the most important building of this phase, designed in the dark local bluestone, but Tudor in character. Webb’s work is difficult to characterize. It includes two important terrace rows of houses, Burlington Terrace (...

Article

Shearer West

English family of painters and illustrators . Richard Westall (b Hertford, 1765; d London, 4 Dec 1836) was apprenticed in 1799 to John Thompson, a heraldic engraver in London. The miniaturist John Alefounder (d 1795) advised Westall to take up painting, and in 1784 he exhibited a portrait drawing (untraced) at the Royal Academy. He became a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1785, an ARA in 1792 and an RA in 1794. He exhibited over 300 works at the Royal Academy and 70 at the British Institution, including such large watercolours as Cassandra Prophesying the Fall of Troy (exh. London, RA 1796; London, V&A), which are painted in violent and sometimes excessive colours. Others, such as The Rosebud (1791; New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A.), tend towards a Rococo prettiness. His principal expertise was book illustration. He was employed by John Boydell, Thomas Macklin and ...

Article

John B. Turner

[ Anna ] ( Jacoba )

(b Leiden, April 28, 1936).

New Zealand photographer of Dutch birth. Inspired by the Family of Man exhibition, which she saw in 1957 in Amsterdam, and Johan van der Keuken’s book, Wij Zijn 17 (We are seventeen) in 1956, Westra documented her classmates at the Industrieschool vor Meisjes in Rotterdam, where she studied arts and craft teaching. Holidaying in New Zealand in 1957 she was captivated by the relaxed lifestyle of the indigenous Maori people and stayed to photograph them. Encouraged by assignments from the Maori Affairs Department’s magazine Te Ao Hou (The New World) in the early 1960s, her work, at first romantic, became increasingly insightful as she documented contemporary Maori life. In 1964 Westra was at the centre of a public controversy when the government ordered the pulping of one of her primary school bulletins, Washday at the Pa (e.g. Wheeee! Baby Erua is all gurgles as… ). This essay on the life of a rural Maori family living in a dilapidated farmhouse was deemed by her critics, especially the Maori Women’s Welfare League, to reinforce stereotypes of Maori as backwards and unambitious....