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Margaret Olley honoured by Art Gallery

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The Art Gallery Society of NWS on behalf of the Art Gallery of NSW, has acquired a painting by Emanuel Phillips Fox in honour of the late Margaret Olley.
Margaret Olley honoured by Art Gallery
Nasturtiums by Emanuel Phillips Fox has been acquired by the Art Gallery Society of NSW, on behalf of the Art Gallery of NSW in honour of the late Margaret Olley. The work, painted in 1912, is acknowledged as one of the finest of Fox’s pieces – a man who is renowned as the creator of some of the most richly cosmopolitan images painted by Australian artists in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Belonging to a series of women-in-garden paintings that Fox created over 1911-1912, Nasturtiums uses reflective and dappled light as patterning and was painted in-situ in a garden courtyard of his studio-apartment on Boulevard Arago, Montparnasse, Paris. “Nasturtiums is a superb addition to the Gallery’s collection and joins major paintings from the Edwardian and belle époque era by expatriates Rupert Bunny, John Russell, Ethel Carrick Fox and Phillips Fox himself. Margaret Olley would have loved this painting as Phillips Fox was one of her favourite artists,” said Edmund Capon, director, Art Gallery of New South Wales. A young Australian artist named Edith Anderson, who stayed with Ethel Carrick and Emanuel Phillips Fox over 1912, was the model for the painting. Anderson went on to become one of Fox’s favourite models and her signature red hair is a feature of many of his paintings of women in gardens. Phillips Fox introduced Edith Anderson to his artist-neighbour, Penleigh Boyd, whom she eventually married. Their son Robin Boyd, an eventual owner of the painting, became one of Australia’s most celbrated architects. The painting was featured in the recent major exhibition Art Love & Life: Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox at the Queensland Art Gallery and was a gift to the subject of the painting, in whose family it has remained. “The acquisition of this painting, in memory of Margaret Olley – who loved Fox’s works – is the Society’s and its members’ contribution to honouring both these great Australian artists,” said John Masters, President, Art Gallery Society of New South Wales.

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