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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

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

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

Cameron Sparks

(b Ballarat, May 21, 1864; d Looe, Cornwall, March 26, 1939).

Australian painter. He trained at the Ballarat School of Design, the National Gallery School, Melbourne, and the Académie Julien, Paris. He was associated with the Heidelberg school in the 1890s, when he specialized in poetic evocations of evening, for example Moonrise (1894; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria). In 1897 he moved permanently to Europe, working in St Ives, Cornwall, England; the Conway Valley, Wales; and Dieppe, France, for 25 years and finally settling in Looe, Cornwall. He produced oils and watercolours of all these localities, as well as, portraits and flowerpieces. Among his more important European work in oil was St Ives Bay, Cornwall (1904; Adelaide, A.G. S. Australia) and A Normandy Village (1919; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 53).

Although uninterested in theory and independent of contemporary artistic movements, Davies admired Monet and may have been influenced by Jean-Charles Cazin and Achille-Théodore Cesbron. His style was essentially simple, picking out a few details within a broader atmospheric effect. In his early work he favoured sombre earth colours, which brightened when he moved to Europe, particularly when he worked in watercolour although he retained a penchant for the muted tones of dusk and grey weather....

Article

R. J. Riddel

[Smith, Robert].

(b Dunedin, New Zealand, June 9, 1868; d Sydney, July 23, 1920).

Australian architect. Educated in Brisbane, Australia, he served his articles with the architects Hay & Henderson in Edinburgh (1886–90) while also studying at the Edinburgh Architectural Association where he formed a lasting friendship with architect Robert Lorimer. From 1890 to 1894 Dods worked in several prominent London offices, including the fortifications branch of the Imperial War Office, Dunn & Watson, and in the office of Aston Webb. He was admitted to the RIBA in 1891 and in the same year travelled to Italy. He was awarded a special prize in the Tite Prize competition (1893) and a medal of merit in the Soane Medallion (1894). Dods returned to Brisbane in 1896 having won a competition for a nurses’ home at the Brisbane Hospital, and entered partnership with architect Francis Hall (1862–1939) as Hall & Dods (1896–1916). The practice enjoyed a variety of commissions from domestic work (where Dods adapted the Queensland timber vernacular in a radically new way) to commercial buildings, hospital and ecclesiastical work. Significant work by Dods in Brisbane includes the New Zealand Insurance Building (...

Article

Anne Gray

(b Alfredtown, Victoria, Sept 3, 1880; d London, Jan 21, 1938).

Australian draughtsman and printmaker. In his formative years he worked as a caricaturist for several Australian magazines. He moved to London in 1910 where he worked as a cartoonist for the Labour newspapers, the Daily Herald and New Age, and achieved great success with his biting cartoons (e.g. ‘Give Us this Day’; Cartoons, 1913), which made him a leading figure among English intellectuals. He worked in the humanist tradition of Honoré Daumier, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Jean-Louis Forain. He was a determined satirist calling for a better world, concerned with political hypocrisy and social injustice, and his cartoons were admired for their apt captions as well as for the hard-hitting images that accompanied them. Dyson visited the Western Front as an Official War Artist during World War I to record the Australian involvement in the war. He worked in the trenches among battle-weary soldiers and was wounded, though not seriously, at Messines and Passchendaele. He made numerous compassionate and frank watercolour-wash drawings of the ordinary soldier (e.g. ...

Article

Barbara B. Kane

(b Melbourne, March 12, 1865; d Melbourne, Oct 8, 1915).

Australian painter and teacher. From 1878 to 1886 he trained at the National Gallery of Victoria Art Schools, Melbourne, and in 1887 left to study in Europe. In Paris he attended the Académie Julian and was taught by Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and by the American artist T. Alexander Harrison (1853–1930). He was involved with the plein-air artists at Etaples, Pas-de-Calais, and in Brittany and also visited Giverny, where from 1883 Monet was living. By 1890 he had moved to England, to the artists’ colony at St Ives, Cornwall. In 1892 he returned to Melbourne where he chiefly painted portraits and landscapes. He was a member of the Victorian Artists’ Society, exhibiting with them between 1892 and 1900. In 1893 he established the lively Melbourne Art School with Tudor St George Tucker (1862–1906). There an academic training coupled with a modified Impressionist technique was taught, as can be seen in Fox’s painting the ...

Article

(b Uxbridge, nr London, Feb 7, 1872; d Melbourne, June 17, 1952).

Australian painter of English birth. She trained under the English painter Francis Bate (1858–1950) and from 1898 to 1902 she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London under Henry Tonks and Frederick Brown. She then went to the artists’ colony in St Ives in Cornwall where she met Emanuel Phillips Fox, whom she married in 1905. The two painters then travelled around France, North Africa and Spain, visiting Australia in 1908 and 1913. In 1915 her husband died and she then travelled between Australia and Europe, running an art school for American and Australian students in Paris. She exhibited in Paris at the Salon d’Automne from 1904 to 1930 and at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1906 to 1937, and she was also a regular exhibitor in London. During the two World Wars she organized art unions for the relief of artists. In the 1930s she campaigned to persuade the Australian national art collections to buy works from modern French artists, such as Degas, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Her paintings were influenced by Post-Impressionism and were of genre, flower and landscape subjects, as in the ...