Florence Rutter

10/05/2019
Explorer’s massacre by Parnell Dempster, 1948, ink and watercolour on paper, 19 x 24cm. Stan, Melvie and Gael Phillips Collection, 1947 – 65, Berndt Museum of Anthropology.

The Carrolup Story: Six-Month Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since we officially launched The Carrolup Story website on the 10th November 2018, the 85th birthday of Noelene White, daughter of Carrolup School teachers Noel and Lily White. Looking back, we feel that we’ve achieved a good deal of what we […]
06/03/2019
Pre-decimal Australian bank notes, Melbourne Mint, 1949.

Were the Children Paid for their Art?

I’m afraid the answer to this question is ‘No’! The child artists were minors at the time, as well as Wards of the State, so they couldn’t receive any money until they turned 21, the age of majority at that time. The funds earned from sales of their […]
26/02/2019
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Mrs Florence Rutter Visits Carrolup

One of the fascinating elements of the Carrolup Story is that the Aboriginal child artists had an ‘ambassador’ for their work, a 71-year old Englishwoman, Mrs Florence Rutter. Mrs Rutter was given permission by the Western Australian government to exhibit and sell the children’s art, first around Australia […]
01/02/2019
Doris Flatt, one of Florence Rutter's daughters, during her interview with John Stanton at her home in Williton, Somerset, UK, in 2006.

Interview With Doris Flatt: Part 2

Doris Flatt was one of daughters of Florence Rutter, the self-appointed ‘ambassador’ to the Carrolup child artists. Over 100 years old at the time of the interview, Doris had strong memories of her mother’s great enthusiasm for their art, as she was determined to bring it to the […]
26/01/2019
Mr. and Mrs. White with some of the Carrolup boys and the Peet family. Back row: Barry Loo, Mr. Peet, Noel White, Adrian Allen and Mrs. Peet. Middle row: Lily White and the three Peet girls. Front row: Parnell Dempster, unidentified boy and Reynold Hart. Photograph taken in 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Our Carrolup Project

I thought it particularly appropriate today, so-called ‘Australia Day’, that I re-iterate what John and I are doing and what we are hoping to achieve with our Carrolup Project. Seventy years ago, Aboriginal children of Carrolup ‘reached out’ to white society with their beautiful landscape drawings. Their efforts, […]
23/01/2019
Parnell Dempster's Down to Drink adorns a wall at the 45th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in London, 1951. Mrs Rutter proudly discusses the drawing with Mr and Mrs Richter. Mary Durack Miller Collection, J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, 1951.

Interview With Doris Flatt: Part 1

Doris Flatt was one of the daughters of the 71-year old Englishwoman Florence Rutter, the self-appointed ‘ambassador’ to the Carrolup child artists. Over 100 years old at the time of this interview (May 2006), Doris had strong memories of her mother discussing the Carrolup artworks with great and […]
16/01/2019
Blackboys by Revel Cooper, watercolour on paper, 38 x 57cm, 1964. Purchased from George Abdullah, Perth, 1965. Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU3269]

Carrolup: John Stanton’s 40-Year Journey

As my colleague John Stanton is away on holiday in New Zealand, I thought I’d take this opportunity to blog about John’s association with Carrolup for a period of over 40 years. That’s a serious, long-standing interest and commitment! The initial large section of this blog come from […]
14/12/2018
Some of the Carrolup young artists. Front row: Reynold Hart (Far Left), Parnell Dempster (Middle) and Revel Cooper (Far Right). Back row, 2nd Left: Barry Loo. Do you know who the other boys are?

Thank You, A Break, Best Wishes and…

The website has been running for just over a month now and we’ve uploaded blog postings on all but three days. Our major aims in this initial period have been to: enhance awareness of the Story of Carrolup to the public and make people aware of our initiative, […]
02/12/2018
The Golden Road by an unidentified child artist from Carrolup, c1949. The image is from the Colgate University Flickr account described below. The drawing is part of the The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University.

The ‘Lost’ Florence Rutter Carrolup Collection

We’ve been thrilled with the response we’ve had from community members about The Carrolup Story website, and their delight in looking again at a selection of the Carrolup children’s art we have shown. However, we’ve just realised that we haven’t let everybody know that a number of works […]
09/11/2018
Howard Morphy and Ezzard Flowers inspect the painting that Athol Farmer brought from Katanning to give to the President of Colgate University, Rebecca Chopp.

A Long Way From Home

It had been a long journey, though both space and time. Here we were, paused at the lintel of the Storeroom at Picker Gallery, Colgate University. 18,432km from home, to be precise. We were about to relink ourselves with the ‘lost’ Carrolup artworks, 55 years since they had […]
09/11/2018
The children of Carrolup in their schoolroom with the White family and visitors from Katanning. Photographer: Noelene White, late 1948 or early 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Welcome

Welcome to our new Storytelling, Education and Healing online resource. My name is David Clark and I am one of three co-Founders of The Carrolup Story. My colleagues in this venture are John Stanton, like me from Perth, Western Australia, and web developer Ash Whitney from Neath in South Wales. Forty-two years ago, […]
09/11/2018
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Florence

In July 1949, a 71-year old Englishwoman Mrs Florence Rutter briefly visits Carrolup and purchases five pounds worth of drawings and designs. She exhibits the drawings and designs in eight cities around Australia and New Zealand, and receives many orders for the children’s artworks. The Department of Native Affairs agrees […]
09/11/2018
Part of a letter from Reynold Hart to Mrs Rutter which appeared in the Daily Graphic article ‘Can Your Child Draw Like This?’ in the UK on the 29th July 1950. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Letters

Once Mrs. Rutter returns to the U.K., she continues to update the School on her progress. She receives many welcome letters from the Carrolup boys during 1950. ‘Every letters [sic] you write Mr White reads it out to the school children. We are very proud of you and […]
09/11/2018
Parnell Dempster's Down to Drink adorns a wall at the 45th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in London, 1951. Mrs Rutter proudly discusses the drawing with Mr and Mrs Richter. Mary Durack Miller Collection, J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, 1951.

Europe

Initially, Native Affairs Commissioner Mr S G Middleton writes enthusiastic letters to Mrs Rutter. She organises an exhibition in Appeldoorn, the Netherlands, where the art is acclaimed. People’s perceptions of ‘Stone-Age’ Aboriginal people are changed. However, an open conflict breaks out between the new supervisor at Carrolup, Mr […]
09/11/2018
Article by school headmaster John Stokes, The West Australian , 24th February 1951. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Outcry

Mr Middleton tries to justify the school’s closure in a letter to The West Australian newspaper. He talks about sending the boys to missions and says: ‘… they will at last begin to receive some spiritual education and training which may not yet be too late to stabilise sufficiently their characters to a point where they may […]
09/11/2018
Untitled [Landscape with Fallen Tree] by Parnell Dempster, pastel and graphite on paper, 23 x 29.1cm, 1953. The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University.

Shattered

The boys’ dreams of a better future are shattered by the school closure and their later experiences in a white dominated society which considers them ‘inferior’. Revel Cooper says the decision to close the school: ‘… closed the pathway to a better way of life for coloured people.’ […]
09/11/2018

Search

Anthropologist John Stanton first learns about the Carrolup children’s art in 1976 when he sees two Revel Cooper landscapes framing Ronald and Catherine Berndt’s study door at the University of Western Australia. He reads Child Artists of the Australian Bush by Mary Durack Miller and Florence Rutter, and […]
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