The Art of Love: Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox

June 22, 2011 § Leave a comment


CURRENTLY THE QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY is exhibiting the works of Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox, one of the most significant artistic partnerships in Australian art history. The exhibition will tell their story jointly, and include over 100 of their paintings. Queensland Art Gallery Director Tony Ellwood said  ‘Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox were painters of modern life at the turn of last century and this exhibition provides an insight into their active artistic careers and extensive travels together around Europe, North Africa and Australia. Audiences will encounter works dating from 1880s to the 1940s, including Carrick and Fox’s much-loved beach and North African scenes, flower and vegetable markets, colourful parks and intimate views of families, women and children’.

The couple married on 9 May 1905, then lived in Paris until 1913, traveling extensively in northern Africa and Europe. The outbreak of war saw the couple return to Melbourne and it was there that Fox died in 1915 at fifty years old. After his death, Carrick worked tirelessly to promote her husband’s work, and continued to produce her own, whilst traveling widely. She returned to Australia several times before her death, arranging exhibitions of her and Fox’s work.

Queensland Art Gallery Curator Angela Goddard believes that ‘highlights of the exhibition include Carrick and Fox’s French flower market 1909, and the Queensland Art Gallery’s much-loved Bathing hour 1909 by Phillips Fox, an intimate portrait of a mother and child at the beach’. In 1996 Ethel Carrick became Australia’s highest-priced woman artist when French flower market sold at auction for $105,500. Previously she had been somewhat ignored in the art world, and some of her paintings had been attributed to her more famous husband. Love and Life: Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox is on exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery until the 7th of August.

If you are interested in Australian art, we stock a variety of books on the subject which you can look up on our website:


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