Re: Bird Print

To: <>
Subject: Re: Bird Print
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 97 09:35:56 +1000
     Hello everyone
     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.
     Paul Fennell

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