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Product Tag: Margaret Saunders (Australia 1882-1959)

Margaret Saunders b. c.1890. Artist (Painter). Painter and art teacher. Born and educated in Ireland. She studied art under P.V. Duffy at the Dublin School of Art before coming to Western Australia in 1920, aged about thirty, to help Henri van Raalte run the Perth School of Art. She kept the school running when van Raalte left for Adelaide in 1923, until about 1937. She also taught at Perth Technical School (1929-35) and at St Mary’s Church of England School for Girls.

Saunders showed work in the first exhibition of the WA Society of Arts after it re-formed in 1920 and continued to exhibit with it in 1922, 1924-31 and 1933-36. She also exhibited with the rival Institute of Artists, a group confined to professional artists and architects, of which she was a foundation member. It, however, held only one exhibition, in 1921, before folding. Far more significantly, she was founder and first president of the WA Women’s Society of Fine Arts and Crafts (later the Women Painters and Applied Arts Society), established in 1935, sending work to its exhibitions in 1936-37, 1939, 1940-41 and 1945. In November 1942 she was included in the ‘Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings organized by the War Art Council’. Most of her works are pastel portrait studies.

SCHOOL: Dublin School of Art. CAREER: Ran Perth School of Art with Henri van Raalte (1923-1937); Taught at Perth Technical School (1929-35); St Mary’s Church of England School for Girls. NOTABLE MENTIONS: Illustrated Little Citizens’ League Calendar (1928). EXHIBITED: National Gallery of Ireland; Royal Hibernian Academy (1904-1918); Western Australian Society of Arts (1920, 1922, 1924-31, 1933-36); Institute of Artists, Founding Member, (1921); Western Australian Women’s Society of Fine Arts and Crafts Founder, First President (1934-42, 1945); War Art Council (1942); National Women’s Art Exhibition Australia (1995). Women Painters and Applied Arts Society. COLLECTIONS: Dutchess of York; Albany Art Gallery, Perth. Art Gallery of Dublin, Ireland. REFERENCE: The National Women’s Art Book; Heritage Biography; Art and Design in Western Australia, Part 1; Western Australian Art and Artists 1900-1950

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