Ethel Spowers 1890-1947

Ethel Louise Spowers was born on 11 July 1890, in South Yarra, Melbourne, daughter of a New Zealand father and a London-born mother. Her father, William Spowers, owned a newspaper. Spowers trained as an artist in Melbourne, with some study in Paris as well (most notably with André Lhote).

Spowers had her first solo exhibit in Melbourne at age 30, showing fairy-tale illustrations as those of Ethel Jackson Morris. In 1928–29, she studied linocut printmaking with Claude Flight at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London. She was one of several Australian women artists at the Grosvenor School, including Dorrit Black and Eveline Winifred Syme. Spowers mounted an exhibition of Australian linocuts in Melbourne in 1930. In 1932, she became a founder of the Contemporary Art Group, promoting modern art in Australia.

A children’s book illustrated by Spowers, Cuthbert and the Dogs, was published the year after her death. The Art Gallery NSW holds several of her works, some from an early period of realistic illustrations, others showing the marked influence of her time at the Grosvenor School.... read more

Ethel Spowers Prints

The Plough

Ethel Spowers: The Plough, 1928