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Article

Kyla Mackenzie

(b Nelson, 1949).

New Zealand photographer. Aberhart became a leading photographer in New Zealand from the 1970s with his distinctive 8×10 inch black-and-white photographs, taken with a 19th-century large format Field Camera. He is particularly well known for his images of disappearing cultural history, often melancholic in tone, in New Zealand.

Aberhart’s use of an ‘outmoded’ process for picturing subjects in apparent decay or decline paradoxically re-invigorated them. He was inspired by the documenting traditions of New Zealand’s itinerant 19th-century photographers. His generally provincial subjects included vacant architectural interiors and exteriors, such as domestic houses, Masonic lodges, churches, Maori meeting-houses, and cemeteries, war memorials, museum exhibits, landscapes, and horizons (see A Distant View of Taranaki, 14 February 2009, Auckland, A.G.). Aberhart also produced several compelling portraits, especially those from the late 1970s and early 1980s of his daughters (e.g. Kamala and Charlotte in the Grounds of the Lodge, Tawera, Oxford, 1981; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.)....

Article

George Tibbits

(b Bendigo, Victoria, Aug 16, 1865; d Melbourne, June 22, 1933).

Australian architect. He served articles with William Salway (1844–1902) in Melbourne and practised alone from the late 1880s to the early 1930s, with a circle of clients and friends drawn from varying levels of Melbourne society. As well as a commitment to the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, he aimed to create an Australian idiom and saw architecture as an art rather than a profession. His talent for sketching and his flair for writing on architecture were also recognized at an early stage in local building journals.

His earliest designs show the influence of H. H. Richardson, whom he greatly admired, but the Viennese Secession may have influenced the Springthorpe Memorial in Kew cemetery, Melbourne (1897). His well-known houses at 32, 34 and 38 The Eyrie, Eaglemont (1902–3), are free and decorative adaptations of a half-timbered, roughcast and Marseilles-tiled idiom fused with an Arts and Crafts approach, which he continued to develop in examples such as the Norman Macgeorge house at Alphington (...

Article

Within a half-century of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840—the event from which the beginning of New Zealand (Aotearoa) is generally dated (and leaving aside from the present discussion the tribal art of the indigenous Maori and the early art created by European navigators, explorers, surveyors, itinerant artists, soldiers, and the like)—a rudimentary infrastructure of public art galleries, art societies, and some art schools had arisen in the main cities—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and the beginnings of a discourse concerning the character and purpose of the visual arts in the new nation emerged. The central question was whether or not such a phenomenon as ‘New Zealand art’ existed or should exist and what characteristics it should aspire to. These matters were vigorously debated for a decade or so either side of 1890 when the infant nation marked its 50th anniversary with a jubilee. The discourse about national identity then largely disappeared for a generation only to emerge again a decade or so either side of ...

Article

(Rossi)

(b Alderstone, England, Jan 27, 1851; d Bondi, Sydney, April 27, 1942).

Australian painter and writer . He attended the West London School of Art and, following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1878 the newspaper owner David Syme invited Ashton to Melbourne to produce black-and-white illustrations for the Illustrated Australian News. After a disagreement with the management he transferred to the rival Australasian Sketcher. In 1883 he went to Sydney, where he joined the staff of the Picturesque Atlas of Australia and also contributed to the Sydney Bulletin. Ashton was an ardent disciple of Impressionist painting and claimed to have executed the first plein-air landscape in Australia: Evening, Merri Creek (1882; Sydney, A.G. NSW). Much of his work, as in the watercolour A Solitary Ramble (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), had a strong sentimental streak. In addition to his outdoor works Ashton painted a number of portraits, such as that of Helen Ashton...

Article

Jeanette Hoorn

(b Bushy Creek, Victoria, c. 1824; d Coranderrk, Aug 15, 1903).

Australian Aboriginal painter and leader of the Wurundjeri people of Woi-Worung. His ancestral country was that surrounding the Yarra River and Port Phillip in Melbourne. He was related to the signatories of Batman’s Treaty of 1835 in which the Woi-Worung are thought to have ceded their land to the British Crown. Educated by Presbyterian missionaries, Barak fought a succession of governments who acted in the interests of pastoralists, in an effort to maintain the land that had been ‘granted’ to them at Coranderrk, near Healesville in Victoria.

Barak drew and painted in a figurative style on cardboard and thick paper, in charcoal, pencil, ochre, natural dyes and watercolour wash. His paintings detail the ceremonial lives of his community with many works showing the configurations associated with corroborees. Native animals including lyrebirds emus, snakes and echidnas are prominently represented in his compositions. A feature of his pictures is the extraordinary detail of the patterning found in the individual costumes of Wurundjeri and, in particular, the fine possum cloaks worn by them. Few of these original garments still exist but Barak’s paintings have inspired contemporary indigenous artists such as Treahna Hamm (...

Article

(Henry Frederick)

(b Melbourne, Dec 1, 1878; d Toorak, Victoria, Oct 22, 1966).

Australian painter. He attended the National Gallery School in Melbourne from 1896 to 1904. In 1904 he went to Paris, where he studied under Jean-Paul Laurens from 1904 to 1906. While in Paris he rebelled against his academic training, but he also rejected the principles of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. In paintings such as Night in Venice (1906; Mrs A. Niven priv. col., see 1979 exh. cat., pl. 5) he experimented with brushstrokes and paint texture while neglecting academic finish.

Bell left Paris in 1906 and went to England, where he became associated with a group of painters based in St Ives, among them Stanhope Forbes, the British painter Algernon Talmage (1871–1939) and Anders Zorn. While in England he joined the Modern Society of Portrait Painters, with whom he exhibited from 1907 to 1915. In 1908 he settled in London and joined the Chelsea Arts Club. He was appointed an Official War Artist in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Australian pottery founded in 1858 by a Scot, George Guthrie (1808–1909), in the town of Bendigo, Victoria. The factory made household wares, including acid bottles, bricks, clay pipes, roof tiles and tableware. During World War I it also made portrait jugs of military commanders, and in the 1930s it made agate-ware vases that were marketed as Waverly ware. The pottery is still active, but since ...

Article

Betsy L. Chunko

(b Le Mans, Nov 1, 1908; d Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 1995).

French architectural historian, active also in America. Bony was educated at the Sorbonne, receiving his agregation in geography and history in 1933. In 1935, converted to art history by Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, he travelled to England under a research grant from the Sorbonne, after which time he became Assistant Master in French at Eton College (1937–9 and 1945–6). He returned to France in 1939 as an infantry lieutenant in World War II in the French Army, was taken as a prisoner of war and spent the years 1940–43 in an internment camp in Germany. After the war he returned to England, first to Eton, then as Lecturer in the History of Art at the French Institute in London (1946–61), Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1948–58), and Slade Professor of Fine Art at St John’s College, Cambridge (1958–61). From 1961 to 1962...

Article

Jan Minchin

(b Hamburg, Aug 26, 1909; d 2000).

Australian painter of German birth. Untrained, she took up painting in 1936 at the suggestion of William Frater (1890–1974), a pioneer of modernist art in Melbourne who had been much influenced by Post-Impressionism. Over the next decade she developed a close working relationship with Frater. From 1943 to 1948 she lived at Darebin Bridge House, a converted hotel, which became a meeting place for artists and writers and was known as the ‘painter’s pub’: Frater, Ambrose Hallen (1886–1943) and Ian Fairweather had studios there. It was a stimulating and productive period. Her working method was rapid and intuitive. The vitality of her work derives most from the vigorous handling of paint and the strongly felt and immediate response to the subject. Colour was her main interest, and she used it to express mood and emotion. Subjects include cityscapes and a number of fine portraits: one of the best, the ...

Article

Mary Eagle

(Charles Wulsten) [Charles Rupert Wulsten]

(b St Kilda, nr Melbourne, Sept 29, 1864; d Melbourne, May 26, 1947).

Australian painter. After studying in Melbourne under G. F. Folingsby (d 1891), he moved to Europe in 1884 and studied in London under P. H. Calderon and in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, who introduced him to the Société des Artistes Français in 1887. His early works consisted mainly of mythological subjects and graceful images of pleasant Symbolist landscapes (e.g. Pastoral, c. 1893; Canberra, N.G.); he defected to the New Salon in 1901 and produced some less decorative works, including images of biblical subjects (e.g. the Prodigal Son, c. 1903; Melbourne, Wesley Church). A long series of paintings of women followed (e.g. the Distant Song, c. 1909; Canberra, N.G.), but his style again changed abruptly when in 1913 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne a series of images of dancers, The Rite (untraced; repr. in A. & Déc., xxxiv (1913), p. 170), that shows the influence of Primitivism. Although not attracted to the avant-garde, Bunny showed an adventurous spirit in his unusual sense of colour, sense of rhythm and witty use of his subjects’ poses. He continued to live in Paris and London until ...

Article

John Maidment

(b Pensford, Somerset, Mar 24, 1864; d Toorak, Victoria, May 31, 1949).

Australian architect of English birth. Articled in Barnstaple to Alexander Lauder (1880–84), Butler moved to J. D. Sedding’s office in London in 1885, also travelling and sketching widely in Britain and Europe. In 1888 Butler emigrated to Melbourne, initially in partnership with Beverley Ussher (1868–1908) from 1889–95 and successively George Inskip (fl 1879–1913) from 1896–1905, Ernest R. Bradshaw from 1907–16, his nephew Richard Butler from 1916–36, Marcus Martin from 1926–31 and Hugh Pettit from 1926–39. He was the most important direct link with the English Arts and Crafts movement at the time of his arrival and he soon secured many domestic commissions for wealthy clients, which comprise the major portion of his work. Notable elements of his work include prominent Dutch gables and half-timbered gables, sweeping parapets, the widespread adoption of bay windows, the use of rough cast and brick and also sweeping rooflines in Marseilles tiles; some of the plans were unconventional, with diagonally-placed wings. Later, Butler occasionally moved to a refined classicism and had a long interest in the art of landscape design and urban planning. His ‘Melbourne Mansions’ (...

Article

Robert Smith

(John)

(b Guernsey, Channel Islands, Feb 28, 1837; d Melbourne, Feb 13, 1918).

Australian photographer of Guernsey birth. After his arrival in South Australia c. 1858, he pursued his interest in photography while working as a hairdresser, becoming a professional photographer in Adelaide in 1867. Economic recession led him to move in 1870 to the neighbouring colony of Victoria, where he worked as hairdresser and photographer in the goldfields settlement of Talbot. By 1871 he was able to open a studio in the larger town of Bendigo, achieving commercial success with carte-de-visite portraits and local views. He had an interest in art, having tried his hand at painting, and became a precursor of Pictorial photography, converting the formally posed group portrait into the conversation piece and producing landscape scenes with human interest genre subjects and picturesque effects to meet a growing nationalistic demand.

To take advantage of his increasing success Caire moved to Melbourne in 1876 to exploit its rapid urban growth as subject-matter, and to use it as a base for forays into the countryside, seeking novel or spectacular subjects. Expansion of the railway system and his adoption of the dry plate process gave him greater mobility, and he was able to photograph increasingly remote localities, culminating in an expedition to Mt Buffalo, in ...

Article

Peter Richardson

(b Glasgow, July 4, 1857; d Wellington, New Zealand, August 4, 1942).

New Zealand architect of Scottish birth. He served his articles in Glasgow under John Gordon (1835–1912) and arrived in New Zealand in 1882. Although he worked briefly as a draughtsman for the firm of Mason and Wales, almost his entire career was spent working for the Public Works Department, to which he was first appointed in 1883. He was promoted to draughtsman in charge of the design of government buildings in New Zealand in 1888 and held the newly created title of Government Architect in 1909, retiring in 1922. His early buildings were generally designed in the Queen Anne style, often incorporating Baroque elements; examples include his additions to the Government Printing Office (1894–6; destr.), Wellington, and his Police Station (1895–9) in Dunedin, modelled on New Scotland Yard, London. He later designed the Dunedin Law Courts (1899–1902) in Gothic Revival style with a Scottish Baronial inflection. In the early part of the 20th century Campbell established Edwardian ...

Article

David Dolan

Australian architectural partnership formed by the brothers Michael Francis Cavanagh (1860–1941) and James Charles Cavanagh (1871–1957) in 1895. Their father, John Cavangh, was an Irish-born contractor, who became Supervisor of Public Buildings for the South Australian Government. Michael Cavanagh was born at Yackandandah, Victoria and educated at nearby Beechworth. He continued his educationn in London and then Adelaide, where he worked with E. J. Woods (1837–1913). James was born in Adelaide and became articled to Michael while studying there, continuing his studies informally in Europe. Michael, who was the senior partner with higher public profile, remained permanently in Perth after 1895, while James worked in Brisbane between 1933–42, before retiring to Adelaide.

They designed ornate turreted hotels and many Federation style houses, but specialized in Roman Catholic churches and schools. Their large institutional buildings, such as Clontarf Orphanage (1900), Subiaco, all have façades with deep verandahs above rusticated flat or rounded arches. Except for some unusual, late Art Deco designs in partnership with others, their work is consistently eclectic, derivative and conventional....

Article

Robert Smith

(Pierce)

(b Wellington, New Zealand, March 30, 1878; d Sydney, June 19, 1953).

Australian photographer of New Zealand birth (see fig.). His father, Pierce Mott Cazneau (1849–1928), was an English-born New Zealand photographer, who became manager of a photographic portraiture studio in Adelaide c. 1889 and took his family to South Australia. While still at school Harold Cazneaux assisted his father and in 1897 joined the same studio as an artist-retoucher. He was mainly interested in becoming an artist and attended evening classes conducted by Harry P. Gill. Acquaintance with the influence of the English Pictorial photography movement in the 1890s made him aware of the medium’s artistic potential. Dissatisfied with his routine occupation in Adelaide, c. 1904 he joined a studio in Sydney where the work was similar, but a higher salary enabled him to buy his own camera and begin creative photography on his own account, including a lasting preoccupation with pictorial celebration of the diversity of everyday life in the city....

Article

John W. F. Cattell

(b Walsden, Lancs, Jan 7, 1856; d Wellington, New Zealand, Aug 13, 1952).

New Zealand architect of English birth. The son of a Church of England clergyman, he worked for the church architects Edmund Evan Scott (fl 1851; d 1895) in Brighton and Robert Jewell Withers (1823–94) in London before emigrating to New Zealand, settling in Wanganui in 1877. He moved to Wellington in 1883 and was appointed architect to the Wellington Diocese of the Anglican Church. According to his obituary he designed more than 100 churches mostly in the southern half of the North Island.

Clere continued the tradition of wooden Gothic Revival churches clad with vertical boarding established by Frederick Thatcher and Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort; his buildings are successful more for their simplicity of design and fine proportioning than for their ecclesiological correctness. Working in a seismically unstable country, he was mindful of the necessity for structural strength in his buildings and experimented with the use of reinforced concrete for larger churches, such as St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Hastings (begun ...

Article

Ian Molyneux

(b London, April 20, 1881; d Perth, June 20, 1938).

Australian architect of English birth. He was articled to Thomas Lockwood and Sons at Chester, and later he worked for Guy Dawber. In 1904 he emigrated to Western Australia due to ill-health; he practised architecture in Bunbury (1906–13) and then established a partnership with Joseph Herbert Eales (b1864) in Perth. Cohen was largely instrumental in bringing the ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement direct to Western Australia. His earliest Australian work included interpretations of the local vernacular homestead in the Arts and Crafts manner, for example Reynolds Homestead (1906), Busselton. His work was later also influenced by vernacular revivals in other countries such as South Africa, for example Kings Park Grandstand (1925) in Perth, as well as by the Georgian Revival in England, which inspired his own house (1922) in Karoo Street, South Perth. His skill as a designer made him prominent in the search for an Australian style suited to a predominantly British society living in a Mediterranean climate. Another example of his work is the Crowther House (...

Article

Betzy Dinesen

Term applied to an architectural and interior design style prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the USA and Australia, countries formerly colonized by Britain. The style, used mostly for domestic architecture, was based on buildings of early colonial periods and had much in common with the contemporary Neo-Georgian tendency in Britain (e.g. Annie Longfellow Thorp House, 1887); later developments on the west coast of the USA drew on Spanish styles. It became popular in response to a reaction against the ornate eclecticism of late 19th-century architecture and the search for a new aesthetic: Colonial Revival was promoted as a ‘national’ style, rooted in the foundations of the nations and suited to their environment and culture. A similar stimulus produced revivals of colonial styles in other countries, such as South Africa, where the Cape Dutch style was revived in work by Herbert Baker around the end of the 19th century, and Brazil, where features of Portuguese colonial architecture appeared in the work of ...

Article

Ursula Hoff

(Edward)

(b London, Oct 24, 1868; d Virginia Water, Surrey, Feb 9, 1909).

English painter, active in Australia and France. He was sent to Australia in 1884 to learn surveying under his uncle W. J. Conder. After about two years in survey camps, he attended evening classes at the Royal Art Society, Sydney; in 1887 he worked as a lithographic draughtsman for the Illustrated Sydney News. Tom Roberts, then in Sydney on a visit from Melbourne, was among the open-air landscape painters that he knew at this time. He taught Conder some of the principles of Impressionism, such as truth to the momentary effect of light and to colour values, and the rejection of the academic ideal of high finish. The most important painting of Conder’s Sydney years, the Departure of the ‘SS Orient’ from Circular Quay, 1888 (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), already showed a distinct personal style, combining humour with nostalgia and selective observation with decorative finesse of handling and design. In ...

Article

William McAloon

(b Upper Hutt, Oct 3, 1964).

New Zealand painter of Maori descent. Cotton studied at the University of Canterbury, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988. He is prominent amongst a generation of Maori artists that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s including Michael Parekowhai (b 1968), Lisa Reihana (b 1964), and Peter Robinson, all of whom were schooled in contemporary Euro-American art styles and debates and then explored their Maori identities in relation to globalization and post-colonialism. Cotton’s early 1990s works were contemporary history paintings, locating New Zealand’s conflicted past firmly in a bicultural present. Drawing upon Maori figurative styles from the late 19th-century, particularly in meeting-houses inspired by the prophet and resistance leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, Cotton’s sepia-toned works juxtaposed these images with customary Maori carved forms, written Maori script, the coastal profiles of early European explorers, and appropriations from contemporary artists as diverse as Imants Tillers, Bridget Riley, and Haim Steinbach....