Go back in time to Daphne Mayo’s 1914 Wattle Day celebrations

It’s National Wattle Day on the first day of September, and we’ve been celebrating the Wattle for different reasons for over a century. QAGOMA has a sculpture in its Collection by artist Daphne Mayo that has a special connection to the Queensland Wattle League dating back to 1914. Daphne Mayo (1895–1982) is one of Queensland’s…

Wattle: From the illustrations of May Gibbs to Ellis Rowan’s watercolours

National Wattle Day was first celebrated in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia on 1 September 1910, then in Western Australia and Queensland in 1912. Wattle had become a symbol of Australian national identity from Federation — becoming one nation — the Commonwealth of Australia, on 1 January 1901. Branches of wattle then featured…

The Golden Book of Gifts

Once upon a time… there was a Golden Book of Gifts… Imagine our surprise when The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Library in Miami Beach, Florida contacted the QAGOMA Research Library seeking information on the John Darnell Bequest and an item in their collection The Golden Book of Gifts. Delving into the Library archives revealed a strange…

Vida Lahey: Known for her distinctive flower studies

Of all the works by (Frances) Vida Lahey (1882-1968), she is best known for her depiction of the weekly wash-day, Monday morning 1912 (illustrated). Known as a painter of oils on a wide range of subjects, she was also recognised throughout her career as a watercolourist of distinction for floral still lifes, therefore we have…

National Wattle Day: A celebration of a floral emblem

In 1988, the year of Australia’s bicentenary, the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially gazetted as Australia’s national floral emblem, enjoying a popular acceptance as the national flower long before then. We’ve been celebrating the Wattle for different reasons over the last century, and in 2020 for the first time, Brisbane is lighting up in…