Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

View More:


South coast



Adelaide Perry


23 Jun 1891 - 19 Nov 1973


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




Media category


Materials used

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.


Purchased 1975


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Adelaide Perry

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 8 publications


Roger Arthur Butler, 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

Roger Arthur Butler and Chris Deutscher, A survey of Australian relief prints 1900/1950, Armadale, 1978, 35 (illus.). 57; Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 9 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 70 (illus.). 59

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian Prints from the Collection 139 of the best', pg. 26-27, Heidelberg, Nov 1998, 27 (illus.).

Josef Lebovic, Masterpieces of Australian printmaking, Sydney, 1987, 98, 99 (illus.). 138; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Sam Neill, Celebrity choice: Sam Neill, Sydney, 1987, (illus.). no catalogue numbers; not paginated; work dated c.1929; dimensions: 14.2 x 19.3cm

Anna Waldmann, Project 39 - Women's Imprint, Sydney, 1982. no catalogue numbers; not paginated