Adelaide Perry

view larger image


Adelaide Perry

Other names

PERRY, Adelaide E.





Birth date

23 June 1891

Birth place

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia View on map Close map

Finding location.

Loading map tiles.

Unfortunately the location could not be loaded.

Death date

19 November 1973

Death Place

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia View on map Close map

Finding location.

Loading map tiles.

Unfortunately the location could not be loaded.


Aotearoa New Zealand 1904-1914; England, France 1922-25


Art teacher | Artist (painter) | Artist (water-colouristist) | Drawer | Printmaker


Worked: Australia (VIC, NSW). Linocuts, Woodcuts, Wood-engravings







Adelaide Perry was born on 23 June 1881, at Beechworth, Victoria, one of five daughters of Eliza Reardon and Richard Perry, a Beechworth solicitor. Her father died when Perry was five and her mother remarried John Baxter, a wool expert based in New Zealand, in 1904. The family moved to New Zealand and Perry had private art tuition in Dunedin. Returning to Australia, she studied at the National Gallery Art School (Melbourne) where she won numerous prizes, including the 1920 Traveling Scholarship.

Upon being awarded the National Gallery School’s Traveling Scholarship in 1920, Perry deferred her plans to travel abroad. Instead, having begun teaching at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School (Queensland) in 1919 she stayed there until March 1921. Around 1919, she also began exhibiting with the Women’s Art Club and the Victorian Artists’ Society.

Perry traveled to England and studied at the Royal Academy School (London) 1922-25. During these years she also stayed in France, and exhibited at the Société des Artistes Français. Returning to Australia, she settled in Sydney in 1925, and in 1927 held her first solo exhibition. The critic from the Daily Telegraph reported that in her paintings “boldness is balanced by good design” (28 July 1927, p.38).

Perry resumed part‑time teaching in 1930 — at Julian Ashton’s Sydney Art School, with Thea Proctor, and at Sydney’s Presbyterian Ladies College. After a dispute with the Sydney Art School, Perry established her own school, which opened in May 1933. It was a success, with 10 students enrolling in the first year (seven of whom were women), attracting some ex‑students from the Sydney Art School. Perry encouraged her students to produce linocuts as a way of teaching design. The school flourished until the mid‑1940s; Perry continued teaching art until the mid‑1950s.

Adelaide Perry died in Sydney on 19 November 1973.

© Australianprints, 2009