Artists on Exhibition
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Carola Brotherton (now Gordon) b.1940
Carola Brotherton received a BA in English and Fine Art from the University of Natal in 1961, an MA (English) from Cambridge University, England (1963) and a Diploma in Fine Art from the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland (1965). On her return to South Africa in 1966 she lectured part-time at the University of Natal with Jane Heath and subsequently at the University of Pretoria. She settled in Scotland permanently in 1977. She works in oil, mixed media, watercolour and ink. Her subject matter is taken from everyday surroundings, with a particular interest in buildings and townscapes. The linoprints on display were produced from a series of line drawings of Victorian buildings in Pietermaritzburg she produced in 1967.
Mary Elizabeth Butler (1845-1937)
Edith Cheesman (b. Westwell, Kent, England active 1920-1935)
Edith Cheesman studied at the Kings College School of Art and the Chelsea School of Art, London - also under John Byam Lister Shaw (1872-1919) and Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958). She was a painter and etcher. She traveled extensively to countries such as those on the Gold Coast, Iraq and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
During the 1930s Edith Cheesman worked from a studio at Botha's Hill and exhibited in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
Elsie M. Currie (active 1917-1925)
Elsie Currie trained at the Durban Art School under John Adams and John Oxley. She was awarded the first Emma Smith Scholarship in 1920 and between 1921 and 1923 trained as a potter at the Royal College of Art, London. After her return to South Africa, she worked at the Ceramic Studio, Olifantsfontein, with Joan Methley.
Hilda Lutando Ditchburn (née Rose)(b.1917 d.1986)
Hilda Ditchburn obtained a BA (Fine Art) degree from the Durban Art School where she studied under John Oxley (1888-1955). In 1949 she spent time studying at the Central School of Art, London, under Dora Billington (1890-1968), who was extremely influential as a ceramic teacher and champion of the artist/crafter in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. She promoted ceramics in the European tradition rather than the Oriental tradition favoured by Bernard Leach (1887-1979).
Hilda Ditchburn taught ceramics at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, from 1942-1982. During her 40 years service she trained generations of students and was responsible for building the first stoneware kiln in South Africa to be used for studio ceramics.
Audrey Frank (b.1905 Durban d.1990)
Audrey Frank trained at the Durban School of Art and the Reiman School, London. Between 1933 and 1936 she taught at the Durban School of Art. Prior to that she worked for four years at the Ceramic Studio, Olifantsfontein. She subsequently taught art in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. She participated in various group shows until the 1960s.
Allerley Glossop (b.1870 Twickenham, England d. 1955 Lion's River)
Allerley Glossop studied at the Slade School of Art, the Central and Westminster Schools of Art and G. F. Cook's School, London. She taught art at the Sphinx Studio, London, until its closure in 1900. In that year she came to South Africa and lived at Wellington and Johannesburg before settling on a farm at Lion's River in 1925, where she built a studio. She frequently traveled between South Africa and England. Her extensive travels in Southern Africa were made by ox wagon.
Allerley Glossop was an eccentric, causing a sensation in South Africa by wearing a sola topi, riding britches and leggings. She is best known as a painter and graphic artist of landscapes, including figures, animals and habitations. In painting she worked in various media, including gouache.
Di Goodbrand (née Naylor) (b.1896 Coventry, England d.1982 Pietermaritzburg)
Di Goodbrand trained at Bristol Art School and Goldsmiths College, London. She worked at one time for the photographer, Charles Buchel, in London. After World War I she married William Hardy Goodbrand and the couple moved to Durban. She was a painter of native studies, flowers and landscape, exhibiting regularly with the Natal Society of Artists from 1922 to 1939. She was widowed in the early 1930s, later marrying Ted Twinn, with whom she lived in Howick for many years.
Constance Helen Greaves (b.1882 Brighton, England d.1966 Cala, Transkei)
Constance Greaves studied at the Brighton Art School. She came to Natal in 1910 and lived at Richmond. After a long stay in the Free State she returned to England in 1939, but moved to the Transkei after World War II.
Constance Greaves was a painter of portraits and figure studies in watercolour. She exhibited frequently with the Natal Society of Artists, winning the Gundelfinger Prize for "native studies" in 1930.
Alice Perry (George) Grieve (active 1926-1937)
Alice Grieve exhibited on annual exhibitions of the Natal Society of Artists between 1926 and 1937.
Jane Tully Heath (b.1913 Cumberland, England d.1995 Pietermaritzburg)
Jane Heath studied at the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts (1932-37) and at the Royal College of Art, London (1937-41). In 1946 she and her husband moved to South Africa with their children.
From 1949-51 she was a part-time lecturer in painting and drawing at the Port Elizabeth Technical College. From 1953-68 she lectured at the University of Natal and thereafter taught art privately in Pietermaritzburg until her death. Although her training was broad-based, and her later activities ranged from magazine illustrations to murals to calligraphy and set design, her main love was painting. Through her lecturing and private teaching she influenced generations of students in the British modernist tradition.
Rosa Somerville Hope (b.1902, Manchester, England d. 1972, Kokstad, South Africa)
After attending the Manchester High School for Girls, Rosa Hope received her training at the Slade School of Art in London under Henry Tonks (1862-1937), Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942) and John Wheatley (1892-1955) and later at the Central School of Art, also in London.
In 1926 she won the Prix de Rome for her etching The Adoration of the Shepherds, which was subsequently shown at the Royal Academy. Digermülen was purchased in London by Colonel R H Whitwell in 1926 for the Tatham Art Gallery collection.
When she visited South Africa in 1935, one of her former teachers at the Slade School, Professor John Wheatley, offered her a teaching post at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town where he was then Professor. She founded the school's printmaking and engraving department.
In 1938 she accepted the post of Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, where she remained until 1957. From here she made frequent painting trips to the Drakensberg and Transkei.
Rosa Hope designed the tableau of the Great Trek Centenary in the Irene Post Office in 1939. The drawings and etching in the Tatham Art Gallery collection may well have been studies for the tableau.
Joan Methley (b.1898 Pietermaritzburg d.1975)
Joan Methley trained at the Durban School of Art under John Adams and at the Royal College of Art. In 1925, with Gladys Short, she founded the Ceramics Studio at Olifantsfontein. She exhibited on the annual Natal Society of Artists exhibition of 1917.
Meta Orton (b.1912 Pietermaritzburg d.2001 Umhlanga Rocks)
Meta Orton studied at the Natal Technical College (1946), the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town (1948-50) and the Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1957-59). She was a member of the Natal Society of artists from 1956 with whom she held three solo shows from 1972. She founded the North Coast art Group in 1976, taught art privately in Umhlanga Rocks between 1967 and 1975 and at the North Coast Artists' Workshop from 1976. Meta Orton was an inveterate traveler, achieving her ambition of traveling to every continent, including Antarctica, at least once during her lifetime.
Meta Orton was a painter and sculptor of figures, portraits and landscapes.
Bertha Pooley (b.1920 Transvaal d.1993 Pietermaritzburg)
Bertha Pooley lived in Durban from an early age. She trained as a teacher and whilst teaching at Isipingo Beach she studied watercolour painting under Madeline Edwards (Mrs. Palmer). After six years of general teaching she returned to the Natal Teachers' Training College for a further year of specialization in Art. She subsequently taught art at Haward and Russell High Schools in Pietermaritzburg before taking up a lecturing position with the Natal Teachers' Training College, retiring in 1979.
Perla Siedle Gibson (b.1888 Durban d.1971 Durban)
Perla Siedle Gibson studied music and drawing in Berlin between 1907 and 1909, and under John Adams at the Durban School of Art. She became famous as "The Lady in White", the result of her voluntary efforts during World War II singing to troops on arriving and departing ships at Durban Harbour.
In the art world she exhibited frequently on the Natal Society of Artists annual exhibitions between 1909 and 1939 and was twice a Council member of that organization. She was awarded the Gundelfinger prize for "native studies" in 1932.
Photographs courtesy Campbell Collections, University of KwaZulu-Natal
This painting was titled Snake Lilies when acquired by the Gallery. It refers to the flowers depicted, and suggests that the Zulu woman in traditional dress was considered incidental by whoever gave the title. Was it the artist? The artist obviously observed the woman and her attire closely. From the Gallery collection we identified similar items to those worn by the sitter.
Mary Stainbank (b.1899 Bellair, Natal d.1996 Durban)
Mary Stainbank trained at the Durban School of Art (1916-21) under John Adams and Alfred Martin, and from 1922-24 at the Royal College of Art, London, under William Rothenstein (1872-1945) and Frederick John Wilcoxson. She was awarded a Royal College scholarship in 1925 and studied bronze casting at an engineering firm in London. On her return to South Africa in 1926 she set up a studio at Bellair. After war service from 1939-45 she was appointed Head of the Sculpture Department at the Durban School of Art, where she lectured until 1957. She exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad and undertook many sculptural commissions, particularly for buildings.
Unknown Zulu (Ceramics)
Unknown Zulu (Traditional)
As mentioned in the introduction to this exhibition, there is quite a lot of published and unpublished information about the white artists represented in this exhibition. There is very little published or unpublished information about the black artists.
All the white artists are named; many of the black artists are not. We have chosen as far as possible to display work by black artists who are named and whose work we know dates from the period under review. Hence the diverse items and incomplete representation of the kinds of items produced by black women artists.
Many of the traditional items acquired by the Gallery since the late 1980s were purchased as parts of large consignments or donated from private collections. Very few of them came with any identification of the maker's name; at most the area of collection might have been identified. Generic research has made it possible to identify, for example, the age of a beadwork item and the area in which it was probably made. It appears that the identity and story of the maker was not considered important enough to document.
Mary Vaughan-Williams (b.1913 Clocolan, Free State d.1992)
Mary Vaughan-Williams studied at the Witwatersrand Technical College, Johannesburg, and in London between 1936 and 1939 at the Royal college of Art under Gilbert Spencer (1892-1979) and William Rothenstein (1872-1945). In 1953 she spent six months at the Slade School of Art, London. In 1943 she settled in Natal, moving to the Cape in 1965.