The captivating allure of Paris has intrigued Australian artists throughout our history and this exhibition focuses on 30 women who travelled there to study, paint, visit galleries, salons, and artists’ studios. Freed from the conventions of home, they immersed themselves in the rich cultural milieu of Paris.
Paris was the undisputed centre of the art world and artists from all over the world gravitated there to live and learn in a city that was exciting and liberating. They survived, often on very modest funds, and engaged in social gatherings at cafes along the broad avenues of Montparnasse.
They went because they were risk-takers and determined to make art their life. South Australian Marie Tuck worked and saved for ten long years before accumulating adequate funds to allow her to travel and live in Paris.
Some exhibited in the Paris Salons and in private galleries on the Left Bank, most studied and many received prizes and accolades. Dorrit Black & Grace Crowley bought back to Australia an understanding of modern art witnessed first-hand. Stella Bowen, Anne Dangar, Agnes Goodsir and Bessie Davidson never returned, having adopted France as their home.
This exhibition brings to light the works of this group of intrepid women and includes work by Christina Asquith Baker, Dorrit Black, Stella Bowen, Ethel Carrick, Evelyn Chapman, Mary Cockburn Mercer, Grace Crowley, Janet Cumbrae Stewart, Anne Dangar, Bessie Davidson, Moya Dyring, Madge Freeman, Bessie Gibson, Vida Lahey, Agnes Goodsir, Anne Alison Greene, Dora Meeson, Alice Muskett, Kathleen O’Connor, Margaret Olley, Ada May Plante, Margaret Preston, Betty Quelhurst, Isobel Rae, Gladys Reynell, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Constance Stokes, Eveline Syme, Jessie Traill & Marie Tuck. The exhibition will present works from public galleries and private collections across the country.