Re: Bird Print
Mon, 08 Dec 97 09:35:56 +1000
I was fortunate enough to see some Lilian Medland original plates
(which were never published and have been displayed only once to my
knowledge) at the National Library the other day. I had never heard
of her before, but was amazed at the brilliance and accuracy of her
artwork. They are as good as any I have seen, and better than nearly
all of them.
Lilian and another artist Tom Iredale worked as illustrators for
Gregory Matthews. To my knowledge (sketchy and hearsay) G Mathews was
a rich Englishman who wanted to publish THE definitive bird book(s)
about Australian birds in the 1920-30s. Lilian Medland produced
hundreds of images for him, most of which were never printed.
However, Matthews did publish a series of volumes on a much smaller
scale than the original vision, in the period 1920-1937. The plate
L.M. Medland, Plate CLXII Birds could possibly come from one of those
The National Library will be mounting a major display of artwork and
print material about birds in Australia in December-January 1998-99.
This will be a must-see exhibition for Australian birdos (and
everyone). It is being curated by Dr Elizabeth Lawson, who has
assembled a large collection already. The Medland plates will be on
display as part of this exhibition. For any respectable bird art
twitcher, the Medland plates alone will be worth the trip to Canberra.
Another interesting piece of art is a large English portrait with a
sulphur crested cockatoo as a major feature. The interesting thing is
that the portrait was painted pre-1700.
I know that this descrtiption is a bit sketchy. Further informationi
about the Medlands and Gregory Matthews could be obtained by
contacting the Pictorial Section of the National Library.
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