Jean Isherwood

Jean Isherwood (1911-2006) was an Australian artist and illustrator. She was born in Marrickville, Sydney, and at the age of 14 won a scholarship to the National Art School at East Sydney Technical College, where she learned an appreciation of linear perspective and accurate draughtsmanship. She later worked as a fashion artist with an advertising agency and as a freelance artist and illustrator. Isherwood became a frequent exhibitor in major art exhibitions, becoming part of the Sydney bohemian art scene. She married John Dabron in 1940, and they had two children, Josephine and Jacqueline, but later divorced in 1948. She took up full-time painting in 1952, becoming primarily a landscape painter. From 1961 to 1974, Isherwood taught at the National Art School, where she determinedly maintained the importance of perspective, anatomy, and design in the creation of works of art, while many of the teachers and students were vogueing for Abstract Expressionism. Isherwood won more than 100 first prizes in various art competitions from 1950 until her death. In 1982, Isherwood created a series of thirty-four watercolor paintings of Dorothea Mackellar's "My Country" for exhibition in Gunnedah in conjunction with the unveiling of a memorial statue. Isherwood died at home on January 6, 2006, aged 94 years.