Miss Purnell's wildflower screen, Lesley Brooker

Vol 36 no 4, November 2014
Article from Vol 36 no 4, November 2014

Miss Purnell's wildflower screen, Lesley Brooker


Another of the talented women artists who came to the colony of Western Australia was Annie Purnell. She was not a professional artist, but the “Angel in the House” for her bachelor brother, the Anglican minister the Reverend Robert Purnell. As was typical of gentlewomen of the time, she would have been trained in the gentle arts of watercolour and embroidery. Unlike some other unmarried gentlewomen she had no need to become a governess to pass on the skills she would have learnt from her own governess. This is the story of a work of hers now in Government House in Western Australia.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.