Underrated and undervalued

Modern Australian Women Artists in the mid-1900s
Being a female artist in the mid-1900s was challenging. Female artists did not get the same opportunities and recognition as male artists. Access to teaching and mentoring was limited; opportunities to travel and study overseas few and far between and in some cases frowned upon. The overarching view was that a woman’s place was minding the home and looking after her husband and children. There are some stand out successes from this period – Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Olley, Margaret Preston, Grace Crowley, Dorrit Black, Anne Dangar, Clarice Beckett, Joy Hester, Lina Bryans and others who are well represented in Australian public galleries and their works now fetch high prices on auction. But there are also a number of female artists who were very talented and produced excellent work who haven’t received the full recognition they deserve. These include Margo Lewers, Judy Cassab, Ena Joyce, Shay Docking, Phyl Waterhouse, Jean Isherwood, Dora Toovey, Joan Beck and Sheila McDonald among others. In this exhibition we focus on the paintings of these latter artists whose paintings mostly date from the period 1950 – 1980.

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