Adelaide Perry was born at Beechworth, Victoria and had some early private art tuition in Dunedin, New Zealand before studying at the National Gallery School, Melbourne in 1914, where she won the 1919 Travelling Scholarship. She did not travel abroad until 1922, when she studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London from 1922-25 under Charles Sims, Gerald Kelly, Walter Sickert and Ernest Jackson. She also visited and exhibited in France at this time, but it was English painting that had the most influence on her. Upon her return to Australia she settled in Sydney. She opened her own studio and school, The Chelsea Art School in 1926 which lasted at least twenty years. She taught drawing at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School 1930-33 and also taught at the Presbyterian Ladies' College in suburban Croydon.
She produced her first known linocuts 'Hairbrush and mirror' and 'Potts Point' in 1925. These encouraged simplification of form and colour in keeping with her modernist compositions (she was a foundation member of the Contemporary Group in 1926). She taught linocut printmaking to a number of other artists, including Vera Blackburn and Lisette Kohlhagen, and was largely responsible (with Thea Proctor and Margaret Preston) for the popularity of linocuts at the time.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
linocut, printed in black ink on thin ivory laid tissue
14.1 x 19.1 cm blockmark; 18.4 x 21.9 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "A.E.P.". Not dated.
Not on display
© Adelaide Perry Estate
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Project 39 - Women's Imprint (1982), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Oct 1982–31 Oct 1982
Celebrity Choice - Sam Neill, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Jan 1987–08 Feb 1987
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Australian Collection Focus: Colour, Rhythm, Design - wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Mar 2010–11 Jul 2010
Road to Wollongong, Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong, 27 Jun 2015–01 Nov 2015
Modern impressions; Australian prints from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2016–Jan 2017
Referenced in 8 publications
Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 9 (colour illus.).
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian Prints from the Collection 139 of the best', pg. 26-27, Heidelberg, Nov 1998, 27 (illus.).
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 70 (illus.). cat.no. 59
Sydney by design: wood and linoblock prints by Sydney women artists between the wars, Canberra, 1995, 35 (illus.), 48. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia
Celebrity choice: Sam Neill, Sydney, 1987, (illus.). no catalogue numbers; not paginated; work dated c.1929; dimensions: 14.2 x 19.3cm
Masterpieces of Australian printmaking, Sydney, 1987, 98, 99 (illus.). cat.no. 138; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Project 39 - Women's Imprint, Sydney, 1982. no catalogue numbers; not paginated
A survey of Australian relief prints 1900/1950, Armadale, 1978, 35 (illus.). cat.no. 57; Collection of the National Gallery of Australia