Clara SOUTHERN, The old shed Enlarge 1 /1


Kyneton, Victoria, Australia 1861 – Surrey Hills, Melbourne, Australia 1940

The old shed c.1900 Place made: Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Primary Insc: signed lower right in black oil, ' C Southern '
Tertiary Insc: ' No. 33' on back of stretcher; John Thallon label verso
Dimensions: 36.6 h x 28.2 w cm framed (overall) 450 h x 368 w x 50 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2003
Accession No: NGA 2004.123

Most students who trained in Australia’s art schools during the late nineteenth century and the Federation years were women, yet few of the strongest among them achieved recognition. The characteristic bohemian Australian artist was male; for a woman to pursue a painting career generally required the encouragement and financial support of her family.

Clara Southern was associated with the Australian Impressionists during the 1890s and sometimes accompanied her contemporaries on day trips to Heidelberg for plein air painting. Southern later settled in the semi-rural Victorian region of Warrandyte, where she painted gentle impressions of country life that won her acclaim in the Federation years.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Miriam kelly, Capital & Country: The Federation Years 1900 – 1913, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013