MORT, Eirene (1879-1977); CROOK, Ethel Frances (1885-1973)
First Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work, 1907. Diploma, Second Class. Awarded to Bendigo artist Ethel Crook, and accompanied by an archive of her designs.
Chromolithograph printed in shades of blue and brown, 370 x 460 mm, printed text with manuscript entries ‘FIRST / AUSTRALIAN EXHIBITION / OF / WOMEN’S WORK / 1907 / SECOND CLASS DIPLOMA / Awarded to Ethel Crooke / Original Design’, within an Art Nouveau-inspired illustrated border; upper right and lower left corners worn, else a fine example; accompanied by an archive of 20 original watercolour, pen and ink and pencil designs and sketches by Ethel Frances Crook, on loose sheets (most foolscap folio size), the majority signed and with her handwritten address of either Kennington (Bendigo) or Stewarton via Goorambat (near Benalla).
Second class diploma designed by Eirene Mort (1879-1977) for the First Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work that was held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne in 1907. This diploma was awarded to Ethel Frances Crook (1885-1973) for an ‘Original Design’. (Note that Ethel’s surname is misspelt on the diploma). Ethel was born in Bendigo, and studied Composition, Form and Colour under Arthur Thomas Woodward in the School of Art and Design at the Bendigo School of Mines, graduating in 1907.
The First Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work was a landmark event that provided a significant stimulus for craftswomen around the country. Organised by local committees throughout urban and regional Australia, the Exhibition encouraged women to submit samples of needlework, cookery, music, horticultural activities, arts and crafts. It proved extremely popular with the Melbourne public and was a commercial success.