Firstly, my apology for not posting any blogs recently, but I have been busy trying to finish writing the book about the Carrolup child artists. Very close to finishing that now, so I’m back blogging.
In my last blogs, I focused on Mrs Florence Rutter’s visits to Carrolup and her tour of Australia and New Zealand where she exhibited the children’s art in a number of cities. On 2nd February, I pointed out that it was seventy years ago to the day that Florence promised the boys of Carrolup that she would do all in her power to make their work known throughout the world.
Florence left Perth on the ‘Orcades’ on the 6th of February 1950 and arrived back in England 21 days later. She arranged a number of exhibitions of the Carrolup children’s art in Europe, beginning with an exhibition in Appeldoorn, The Netherlands, in June 1950.
Some time ago, I was looking through Noelene White’s family memorabilia relating to Carrolup and came across a notebook that Florence Rutter had sent to Noelene’s parents, Noel and Lily White. The notebook contained ‘letters of appreciation’ from people who had attended Carrolup exhibitions, as well as numbers of comments about the art that Florence had transcribed from the exhibition Visitor’s books. I thought I’d include part of one of those letters of appreciation to the Whites below [please click on the photo above to see the full ‘letter’]:
It thrills me every time to hear through your kindly interest, you have given your Aboriginal pupils the opportunity to express their art in drawing, design and colouring. I join with her [Florence] in feeling sure your encouragement, and understanding of their needs, has enabled these clever youngsters to show a talent that just leaves every one who examines the pictures amazed that children of any race could produce anything so lovely and so finished – worthy of any trained artists, and all the more wonderful when we are assured the beautiful work is that of school children quite untaught in art, but producing this loveliness by their own natural gift exercised in patient practice, and deep interest.’ Emily Moore, Letchworth, 5th July 1950
I will show other letters of appreciation from Europe in future blog postings.
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