Violet Teague

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Violet Teague
Violet-teague-self-portrait-1899.jpg
Self portrait (1899)
Born21 February 1872
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died30 September 1951(1951-09-30) (aged 79)
EducationNational Gallery of Victoria Art School, Melbourne
Known forEtching, lithography
Notable work
AwardsBendigo Jubilee Exhibition gold medal, 1901

Violet Helen Evangeline Teague (21 February 1872 – 30 September 1951) was an Australian artist, noted for her painting and printmaking.

Early life and training[edit]

The only daughter of Melbourne homeopath James Teague and his wife Eliza Jane Miller, Teague was born on 21 February 1872 in Melbourne. Her mother died while she was an infant, and she was raised by her father and his second wife, Sybella, along with Sybella's two children.[1] Teague was taught by a governess at home, and her education included French and the classics.[2] She completed college at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne.[3]

Teague travelled with her family in Europe as a young woman. She toured widely, and visited galleries in Germany, France, Belgium the Netherlands and England. In 1901, she recalled visiting Spanish galleries during her childhood, and commented "never shall I forget the Velazquez, with their beautiful horses and exquisite colouring, or the lovely Raphaels".[4] She studied in the Brussels studio of Ernest Blanc Garin and with Sir Hubert von Herkomer in England.[5]

Career[edit]

Teague exhibited regularly at the Paris Salons, including with a portrait of a Colonel Rede in 1897 at the Société des Artistes Français.[6]

In 1902 she was appointed to the council of the Victorian Artists Society which published her poem 'A Cloud Fantasy' in its journal.[3]

She was "the first Australian to demonstrate a sustained interest in, and an understanding of Japanese woodblock printmaking".[7] Printing from woodblock had a long history in Japan. She collaborated in woodcuts with her friend Geraldine Rede, publishing Night Fall in the Ti-Tree together from her Collins Street studio in 1905.[8] The 32 page Haiku-style text tells the story of the simple life of bushland rabbits with 16 coloured woodblock illustrations.[8] This collaborative little book is the first example of coloured woodblock printing in Australia, and also the first Australian artists' book.[8]

Her painting Boy with a Palette won a silver prize from the Old Salon, Paris when exhibited in 1920, and was later hung at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Following the 1920 Paris Salon, Australian artist Rupert Bunny wrote to Teague, and observed that The Boy with the Pallette was one of the best works in that year's exhibition at the Old Salon.[9][10]

A page from Night fall in the Ti-Tree

One of the most unusual aspects of Teague's oeuvre, one that lacks almost any referents in Australian art, was the creation of altar paintings and banners for Protestant churches. The first was a 1910 commission (now in the Hamilton art gallery)[11] for a church in Wannon, Victoria, where her brother worshipped. The frame for the work was designed by her friend, artist Jessie Traill.[12] In 1921, Teague exhibited an altar piece (now at St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne)[11] for a new church at Kinglake, Victoria, built as a memorial to soldiers who died in World War I. Inscriptions to accompany the picture were again prepared by Traill, and placed on the base of the work. The painting was Teague's most prominent work at a solo exhibition held at the Melbourne Athenaeum in 1921.[6]

A newspaper article discussing the altar paintings by Violet Teague done in Mt Eliza for churches.
Paintings for Mt Eliza church, [19 Nov, 1931, p. 4], Frankston and Somerville Standard

In 1933 Teague and her sister Una travelled across the outback by car to visit the Hermannsburg Mission. The Mission had recently suffered a drought resulting in the deaths of a third of the Aboriginal population.[8] The sisters helped raise more than £2,000 towards a pipeline to help transport water to the Mission.[8] She also met famed Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira, who named one of his children after her.[8]

Exhibitions[13][edit]

Victorian Artists' Society, Winter Exhibition [1905] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (14 July 1905 - 19 August 1905)

Eight Federal Art Exhibition, Society of Artists' Royal South Australian Society of Arts Gallery (10 November 1905 - 2 December 1905)

Victorian Artists' Society, Annual Exhibition [1906] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (1 January 1906 - 1906)

First Australian Exhibition of Women's Work [1907] Multiple venues (23 October 1907 - 30 November 1907)

[Exhibition] Bradley's Rooms (1 September 1908)

The Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria [1908] Guild Hall (2 December 1908 - 12 December 1908)

Victorian Artists' Society, Winter Exhibition [1909] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (1 July 1909)

Victorian Artists' Society, Annual Exhibition [1911] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (1911)

Victorian Artists' Society, Annual Exhibition [1912] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (12 July 1912 - 10 August 1912)

Victorian Artists' Society, Annual Exhibition [1914] Victorian Artists Society Galleries (29 April 1914 - 23 May 1914)

Australian Artists' War Fund exhibition [1915] Vickery's Chambers

Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition Federal Court House (12 November 1919 - 26 November 1919)

Representative collection of Australian art Margaret Maclean's Gallery (1 November 1940 - 1 December 1940)

Published works[edit]

Birds of the sunny south, with Australian flowers / produced entirely by Australians (V. Teague, G. Rede, I. Gregory, A. Ashley) [Melbourne] 1915(?) : Pater's Printery

Night fall in the ti-tree / woodcuts by Geraldine Rede and Violet Teague, [Melbourne] 1905 : Sign of the Rabbit

Legacy[edit]

Teague has been reckoned among the best portraitists Australia has produced.[3] Teague has also been identified as one of Australia's first female art critics.[14]

Teague Street in the Canberra suburb of Cook is named in her honour.[15]


Further reading[edit]

Papers of Violet Teague [1890-2000] [manuscript], State Library Victoria

Violet Teague [Australian art and artists file], State Library Victoria

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Peers 1995, p. 461.
  2. ^ Clark 1999, p. 10.
  3. ^ a b c Lee, Mary Alice (1990). "Teague, Violet Helen (1872–1951)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 12 (MUP). Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Miss Violet Teague "at home"". Table Talk. Melbourne. 25 July 1901. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 23 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Lee, Mary Alice, "Teague, Violet Helen (1872–1951)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 3 July 2020
  6. ^ a b "Art exhibitions". The Argus. Melbourne. 29 November 1921. p. 4. Retrieved 23 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Butler 2007, p. 123.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Lee. "Night Fall in the Ti-Tree. Woodcuts by Geraldine Rede and Violet Teague. Verses by Violet Teague (1905)". Rare Books & Manuscripts Blog. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Items of interest". The Argus. Melbourne. 30 June 1920. p. 10. Retrieved 23 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Clark 1999, p. 9.
  11. ^ a b "Anglican Parish of the Otways". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  12. ^ Vernon 1999, p. 83.
  13. ^ "TEAGUE, Violet (1872–1951) · Related exhibitions · Australian Prints + Printmaking". www.printsandprintmaking.gov.au. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  14. ^ Peers, Juliet (8 March 2018). "Violet Teague: the (woman) artist as critic". Australasian Victorian Studies Journal. 6: 84–101.
  15. ^ "Australian Capital Territory National Memorials Ordinance 1928-1972". Australian Government Gazette. Periodic (National: 1974–1977). 13 April 1976. p. 1. Retrieved 9 February 2020.

Bibliography

  • Butler, Roger (2007). Printed. Images by Australian Artists 1885–1955. Canberra, ACT: National Gallery of Australia. ISBN 978-0642-54204-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Clark, Jane (1999). "Introduction". In Jane Clark and Felicity Druce (ed.). Violet Teague. Roseville, NSW: The Beagle Press. pp. 9–19. ISBN 0947349294.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Peers, Juliet (1995). "Teague, Violet Helen Evangeline". In Joan Kerr and Anita Callaway (ed.). Heritage: The National Women's Art Book. Roseville East, NSW: G + B Arts International / Craftsman House. pp. 461–462. ISBN 976-6410 45-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Vernon, Kay (1999). "A Markedly Cultured Mind and a Devotional Spirit: Violet Teague's Altar Paintings". In Jane Clark and Felicity Druce (ed.). Violet Teague. Roseville, NSW: The Beagle Press. pp. 9–19. ISBN 0947349294.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]