Ailsa Allen was born Ailsa Craig in Sydney. She studied under Thea Proctor and Adelaide Perry at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School from 1927 to 1932, contributed to the student's magazine Undergrowth and exhibited with the Society of Artists in the late 1920s and 1930s. Some of her linocuts were reproduced in Art in Australia in 1927-28 while she was a student of design with Thea Proctor at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School; she began making wood engravings around 1935. She married twice, changing her name on both occasions (first Ailsa Lee Brown, then Ailsa Allan), which she used to sign her work. She returned to Sydney in 1936 after living two years in Brisbane, where she began making wood engravings.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints in the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
wood engraving, printed in black ink on cream mulberry paper
21.9 x 15.5 cm blockmark; 27.8 x 20.8 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Ailsa Allan '37".
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Modern impressions; Australian prints from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2016–Jan 2017
Referenced in 3 publications
Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 84 (illus.). cat.no. 127
Unknown and Unknown, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 73 (illus.). cat.no. 62
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 31