- 1927-1955. (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
The Queensland Art Fund was organized by Vida Lahey and Daphne Mayo to promote public interest in the Queensland Art Gallery. Through purchases and gifts, the Fund acquired paintings, books and a collection of 2000 photographs given by the Carnegie Corporation, New York. When Art Fund activities ceased, the collections were divided among the Queensland Art Gallery, the University of Queensland and other public bodies.
Name of creator
Lilian Daphne Mayo was born at Balmain North, Sydney on 1 October 1895 to English-born parents. Her parents, William McArthur Mayo (1868-1954) and Eliza Mary (Lila), née Saxelby (1870-1959), had an older son Richard Mayo (who died in 1925). The family moved to Highgate Hill, Brisbane when she was young. She received a Diploma in Art Craftsmanship from the Brisbane Central Technical College in 1913 and in the same year was the winner of the Queensland Wattle Day League travelling art scholarship. From 1920 to 1923 Mayo attended the Royal Academy Sculpture School in London. She returned to Brisbane in 1925 after the death of her brother. She is noted for her large scale public artworks in Brisbane including the Brisbane Tattersall's Club frieze (1926), the tympanum and concert hall frieze of the new City Hall (1927-30), tympanum and Stations of the Cross for the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Farm (1929-30), Queensland Women's War Memorial, Anzac Square (1929-32), and relief panels for the chapel of Mt Thompson Crematorium (1934). In 1929 she co-founded the Queensland Art Fund with friend Vida Lahey. Mayo was foundation trustee of the Godfrey Rivers Trust and was the main buyer for most of the works acquired by the Trust for the Queensland National Art Gallery (now the Queensland Art Gallery). In 1938 and 1939 she travelled in Europe and North America to observe art developments. Between 1940 and 1942 she completed the bronze doors for the Public Library of New South Wales. In 1949 Mayo was awarded the Member of the order of the British Empire for contributions to art. Other works include: The King's School War Memorial, Paramatta (1948-1953); portrait bust of J.D. Story (1954-1956); portrait bust of Field Marshall Sir Thomas Blamey, the Australian War Memorial, Canberra (1957-1958); The Jolly Swagman Statue, the Public Swimming Pool, Winton (1959); portrait bust of Lloyd Rees, the Art Gallery of South Australia; statue of Sir William Glasgow, Brisbane (1961-1964); Statue of a Youth, Knox Grammar School, Sydney (1962 to 1964); and Trophy, the Winton Bronze Swagman Award for Bush Verse (1970-1971). In 1960 Daphme Mayo was appointed the Queensland Art Gallery's first woman trustee. While undertaking these various works, she also earnt a living as a property owner and grew an investment portfolio in bonds and shares. In 1973 she sold her Highate Hill property and retired from public life. The 1970s saw a decline in her health. She died at Brisbane on 31 July 1982.
"Lilian Macarthur" is a pseudonym of Daphne Mayo's. It is a combination of her first name and the middle name of her father.
Name of creator
Frances Vida Lahey was born on 26 August 1882 at Pimpama, Queensland. She was the daughter of David Lahey, an Irish-born farmer and timber-miller, and mother, Jane Jemima Lahey (nee Walmsley). She was the eldest of 12 children. She learned painting from Godfrey Rivers at Brisbane Technical College, then studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne in 1905 to 1906. In 1909 she studied painting with Frederick McCubbin and Bernard Hall. With the outbreak of World War One, Vida abandoned her artistic pursuits and established a home base in London for her brothers and cousins who had enlisted. After the war she traveled Europe, returning to Australia in 1920. She taught art for many years in Brisbane. Together with Daphne Mayo they co-founded, in 1929, the Queensland Art Fund and they were involved in raising funds for the acquisition of works for the Queensland Art Gallery. In recognition for her services to art, Vida received a M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in 1958. She passed away on 29 August 1968.
She is considered one of Australia's best known and respected women artists, renowned both for her artistic production and her activities as an art educator and advocate. 'Monday Morning', a large oil painting of Lahey's sister and a friend scrubbing clothes at the family washtub launched she professional career and is her most persistent claim to fame.
Collection previously titled as: Records, 1927-1955
Collection alternatively titled as: Queensland Art Fund Collection.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Minutes of meetings, annual reports, circulars, correspondence and financial records, correspondence regarding nomination of trustee, Art Library records, newspaper clippings, press publicity reports, papers on the Queensland Art Fund lunch hour talks.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
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Uploaded finding aid
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Related units of description
Material from this collection has been cited in:
Lovell, Sue Rosemary (2010). 'Vida Lahey's Progressive Activism for Children's Art Education', Australian Historical Studies, 41:3, 269-285.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Queensland Art Fund (Subject)
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Description control area
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Dates of creation revision deletion
Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.