Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

The art of Violet Teague

  • This event finished on 11 June 2000

5 May-11 June 2000

The breadth and variety of her work simply does not fit within the conventional constructs of the story of Australian art.’   Jane Clark, exhibition co-curator


Few people today know Violet Teague’s name, but this touring exhibition and catalogue serve to revise Australian art history, filling in the gaps which the patriarchal turn-of-the-century art world and subsequent art history have omitted.

The art of Violet Teague (1872-1951) is a touring exhibition coordinated by the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne.  Co-curators of the exhibition are Felicity Druce (grand-niece of the artist) and Jane Clark, and the exhibition will be accompanied by the first monograph published on the artist.  It includes essays by well known scholars of Australian art who examine the rich and diverse oeuvre of a woman artist whose career reflected the social causes of her time.

At the beginning of the 20th century Violet Teague was one of Australia’s most internationally recognized artists.  Since then, she has received little attention…until now.

This exhibition comprises 50 major oil paintings. Violet Teague’s portraits received international acclaim at the time.  There are landscapes, altar paintings and woodcuts, many of which have rarely, if ever, been seen publicly since the artist’s death in 1951.  Teague also made an enormous artistic contribution to our history during World War I  by recording  the war effort.

The individuality of Violet Teague, who was an intrepid traveller, is established through her visit to Hermannsburg Aboriginal Mission on a painting trip to Central Australia in 1932 and in her subsequent campaign, supported by other artists, to bring a permanent fresh water supply to Hermannsburg in 1935.



Sundays on Observatory Hill 3pm

Sunday 7 May – ‘Rediscovering Violet Teague’ -Felicity Druce, co-curator of The art of Violet Teague and great niece of Violet Teague, will deliver an informative and comprehensive exhibition talk in the Gallery.

Sunday 14 May -‘Portraits and inspiration’ – Kay Vernon, freelance writer and curator, will discuss Teague’s altar paintings. Richard Neville, curator at the Mitchell Library, will highlight the diverse interests and inspirations reflected in the portraits of Violet Teague.

Sunday 21 May –  ‘An artist in the firing line’ – Dr Anita Callaway, author and art historian, will deliver a slide lecture on Violet Teague’s wartime paintings and pageantry, an interesting and little known but intensely active period of Australian art history.

Sunday 28 May – Night Fall in the Ti Tree’ – Violet Teague and Geraldine Rede broke new ground when they hand printed this book of Japanese-influenced colour woodblock prints.  Anne Ryan, assistant curator of prints and drawings at the AGNSW, will give a talk on Violet Teague’s woodcuts.

Sunday 4 June – ‘Intrepid adventures’ – Liz Ward, research assistant on The art of Violet Teague, will discuss the voyage of Violet Teague to Europe in 1935 aboard the C.B. Pedersen, one of the last passenger sailing ships travelling from Australia.


image: Violet Teague Dian dreams (Una Falkiner) 1909