Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing

This is an annual acquisitive prize for drawing.

Awards & Prizes

Opportunity Details

Closing Date

Jan 12, 2022


New South Wales


Visual Arts


Adelaide Perry was a remarkable woman with an eventful career. She studied under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin and experienced early success by winning the National Gallery Travelling Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy in London in 1918. During her three year sojourn abroad she exhibited at the Salon in Paris and upon returning to Sydney in the late 1920s exhibited with the Society of Artists, Academy of Art and the Contemporary Group as a foundation member.

Like many women artists she remained single and thus devoted much of her time to teaching art to earn a living. In order to do this she taught at Sydney Art School with Julian Ashton, Henry Gibbons and Thea Proctor and later established her own Chelsea Art School that continued for twenty years. She was an active and productive artist exhibiting her paintings, drawings and printmaking for over forty years. Like most female artists, shewas overlooked by public galleries until the Art Gallery of NSW acquired her work in the late forties. Most state and regional galleries in Australia now have a representation of her work in their collections. Her portrait of Dame Mary Gilmore, thought of as her finest achievement in this genre hangs in the National Library, Canberra.

In 1930, on the recommendation of Roy de Maistre, Adelaide Elizabeth Perry was retained as a part-time teacher of drawing at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney. This association with Art at PLC was to continue until 1962 when she retired as Art Mistress. It is most fitting therefore for PLC to honour her with the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing.


  • Winning Entry for best drawing (acquisitive) – $25,000
  • People’s Choice Award – $2,000

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2020 Finalist Susan Andrews’ Red Alert Gouache, permanent marker and graphite

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