‘dear Emily’ in Western Australia, Dorothy Erickson

Vol 36 no 1, February 2014
Article from Vol 36 no 1, February 2014

‘dear Emily’ in Western Australia, Dorothy Erickson


Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in her misogyny speech on 9 October 2012, was not the first to react to men allegedly putting down women’s activities. A century ago, English designer and artist C R Ashbee – his business damaged by low-priced competition from amateur women artists – condescendingly referred to them as “dear Emily”. Here Dr Dorothy Erickson examines the work of Western Australian women artists and shows that they were far from incompetent.

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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.