• Edith E Cusack

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    • CUSACK SISTERS, Edith and Aline – War Workers, Anzac Buffet London / Ward Orderlies, British Red Cross
    • Posted by FrevFord, Friday, 11 May 2018

    Daughters of (Dr) Samuel Athanasius CUSACK (M.D., F.R.C.S.I., M.R.C.S.L.) and Georgiana Frances (nee HOLMES), Edith was born (Eleanora Edith) on the 5th of September 1865 at Nelson in New Zealand, and Aline (Aline Margaret) was born 18 months later on the 7th of March 1867. The family moved from Nelson to Wellington in March 1868, and then to Maitland, NSW in November 1868, travelling on the Mataura. Mere months after their arrival in Australia Samuel died from consumption (TB) on the 7/2/1869 at Bank St, East Maitland, NSW, aged 38, and Georgiana died on the 11/5/1913 at Laragh, 42 William St, North Sydney Siblings (7): *Arthur A b.c1858 – d.1/10/1883 Laragh, Seven Hills, age 25; *Joseph Athanasius b.1861 – d.29/5/1893 Laragh, age 31; *Georgiana Frances b.22/8/1862 – d.22/12/1890 Laragh, Lavender Bay; * Son b.23/11/1863; *Edward Chamney b.1864 – d.13/6/1930 Croydon, England; *Maud b.3/5/1868 Wellington, NZ – d.1869 West Maitland, NSW; *Harry Samuel b.1869 Maitland, NSW – d.18/2/1926 By 1914 Edith and Aline were well-known Artists, who had studied abroad, and had held many exhibitions of their paintings. Sailing on the Ballarat in June 1914 they were once more heading to the UK to paint and to holiday. Unfortunately they arrived in London on the 6th of August, just two days after Britain had entered the war. “All their plans were at once upset, and they were fully engaged in war work in England and France until 1919, when they once more turned their attention to their art.” WW1: In March 1915 it was noted that they were doing war work with the British Red Cross (BRC), attending the workrooms of the Hotel Windsor branch. By March 1916 they were regularly serving at the Anzac Buffet, London. 1916 also saw them adopt “an interesting way of helping along war funds and at the same time lightening the labor troubles in rural England. In the strawberry season they, with a number of women University students, went round the country in an old caravan, in which they slept at night, and in the daytime occupied themselves at various strawberry gardens picking fruit for the market. Their wages were given to the Red Cross Society.” From the 27/4/1918 to the 17/2/1919 the sisters were serving as BRC VAD Ward Orderlies at No.72 General Military Hospital in France With the war over the sisters returned to their painting before eventually departing England on the 9/1/1920 on the Megantic 1921 Art Exhibition, Sydney Embarked in New York on the President Garfield, and arrived London on the 14/8/1923 Returned to Australia on the Ulysses, departing Liverpool, England on the 7/11/1925 Residents of 42 William St, North Sydney 1930, 1937 – moved to Bromley Ave, Pymble by 1941 Edith died on the 20th May 1941 at their home in Pymble, and was privately cremated Aline was living in Bromley Ave, Pymble 1943, 1949 Aline died on the 12th July 1949 at her residence, 1 Bromley Ave, Pymble, NSW Evening News (Syd, NSW), Thur 19 Jul 1894 (p.3): Miss Cusack’s Reception Miss Cusack, who has recently returned from Europe, held a reception at her studio, Norwich Chambers, yesterday afternoon. The attendance was large and fashionable, most of the well-known amateurs and art people of the city being present. Miss Cusack, who has been studying in the best ateliers of Paris, notably those of Julian and Robert Fleury, for the last three years, brings home results that attest not only a natural capacity for art in its higher expressions, but a capacity for hard work. Miss Cusack, it will be remembered, exhibited in the Paris Salon this season, and received the honor and acknowledgment of having her contribution hung “on the line.” Every young eager and aspiring artist will understand and appreciate what sort of a reward that was. The work so distinguished is “A Portrait,” and looking at the specimens shown by Miss Cusack yesterday, one realizes at once that the lady’s true métier is a portrait painting. There are pictures here of people you have never seen, but you know intuitively that these are not only pictures, they are also portraits. ……………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113326982 Evening News (Syd, NSW), Fri 14 Sept 1894 (p.6): The Coming Exhibition SOME OF THE STUDIOS Amongst the lady artists favorably known as an exhibitor at the Art Society’s Annual Exhibition is…………………………………………… From her assured place as an exhibitor in the Paris Salon Miss Cusack contemplates making her r’entrée in New South Wales at the coming exhibition. Among the work prepared, several portraits occupy the premier position. A large and noticeable study of a lady holding a letter in her hand is richly coloured and delicately finished. A view of the Tuileries Garden, a dainty portrait of a pretty girl, and studies of child life are carefully and faithfully executed. Miss Aline Cusack, sister of the lady above referred to, is also an intending exhibitor, and has several effective and suggestive studies. Very bright, refreshing and true to nature is a homestead scene, while a leafy glade and some sketches of flowers form charming reproductions of delicately-hued and vivid flora. Sunday Times (Syd, NSW), Sun 5 Feb 1905 (p.2): FROM THE ART CENTRES OF EUROPE MISS CUSACK’S RETURN TO SYDNEY By the R.M.S. Mongolia, which arrived on Friday, Miss Cusack, a talented artist whose work is well-known here, returned to Sydney after a year of European work and wandering. Though delighted to be home again, Miss Cusack speaks enthusiastically of France and Italy, and recalls with pleasure the months spent at work in Chelsea, the great centre for London slaves of the brush. “I spent three months in Paris going through the galleries, and studying under Prof. Fleury, the President of the Salon, last year,” said the artist to a “Sunday Times” representative. “Of course, Paris was not new to me, for I had lived three years there in student days. But it was a delightful three months. Then I spent a month in Italy amongst the art treasures of Florence, Venice, and Rome. “In London, where I worked steadily during the remainder of my European visit, I held a very successful exhibition of flower painting. ……………………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/125875309 Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent (NSW), Sat 28 Apr 1906 (p.5): A World-famed Artist – Miss E. Cusack In the person of Miss Cusack, a world-renowned Australian artist is now on a visit to this district, mainly for the improvement of her health. Miss Cusack, who is a native of Sydney, is not only in the front rank of Australian painters as a member of the Council of the Royal Art Society, but has studied in London and Paris under the most representative masters, with the result of having her work exhibited in the Paris Salon and at the Oakley Studio, London. the London “Morning Post” speaks enthusiastically of the attractiveness of “the Sydney artist’s” work. Two of Miss Cusack’s paintings have been purchased by the trustees of the National Art Gallery of N.S. Wales. At the recent exhibition of the Royal Art Society Miss Cusack’s attractive productions received special press commendation. Her pastels, water colors and oil paintings formed on of the chief attractions of a special exhibition in Sydney arranged a few months ago by representative Australian artists, and specially viewed by the Governor-General and Lady Northcote and party. Miss Cusack proposes holding classes in Dubbo should circumstances prove favorable. The Sydney Mail……(NSW), Wed 14 Nov 1906 (p.1267): Social Gossip Two well-known Sydney artists (the Misses Edith and Aline Cusack) recently gave an “at home” in connection with the opening of a new studio at Laragh, Lavender Bay, where they intend carrying on their work as well as at their studio in the city. Miss Cusack has recently been to Dubbo, and evidences of her visit were to be seen around the room, which was crowded with a fine collection of pictures, many of which had been formerly exhibited with the Art Society. …………………………… The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 25 Jul 1908 (p.10): THE MISSES CUSACK’S EXHIBITION There was a considerable gathering of people interested in painting at Mr Walter Bradley’s galleries yesterday afternoon, when the Misses Edith E. Cusack and Aline M. Cusack held a “private view” of a collection of their works, which will now remain open to the public throughout the coming week. The varied talents of the exhibitors have enabled them to show figures, landscapes, flowers, and animals, and though there is a lack of genre subjects the exhibition avoids the rut of monotony. Both ladies are known in art circles. Miss Edith Cusack studied in Paris for three years under Bougereau, Fleury, and Lefevre, at Julian’s academy, and paid a second visit to Paris and London for further study about four years ago. Miss Aline Cusack has just returned from study, both in London and Gloucestershire, under Frank Calderon, A.R.A., whose guidance in animal subjects must have been invaluable, and she then spent another period of study at Collarossi’s academy in Paris. There are more than 100 oil and water-colour paintings in the present collection, only a few of which have been exhibited before, and the best of them reveal a refined and agreeable though not always strong style of art. ……………………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/14991244 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wed 26 Oct 1910 (p.5): SOCIETY OF WOMEN PAINTERS The Society of Women Painters held its annual meeting last Friday afternoon at Miss Cusack’s studio. Among those present were Miss Aline Cusack (in the chair), ………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/15163783 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Fri 1 Sept 1911 (p.5): THE CUSACK EXHIBITION There is now on view in the galleries above Messrs James R. Lawson and Little’s Pitt-street sale rooms a large and varied collection of the oil and water-colour paintings of the Misses Edith and Aline Cusack. Both these well-known artists, whose studies were completed under leading teachers in Paris, exhibited at the Grafton Galleries, Bond-street, London, some years ago, when their flower paintings were eagerly sought, buyers absorbing every one of them, and Miss Aline Cusack’s sea-piece was then warmly praised by the London press. ………. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/15270683 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 4 Oct 1913 (p.6): THE MISSES CUSACK’S PAINTINGS An exhibition of water colours, oil paintings, and pastel portraits by Misses Aline and Edith Cusack was opened at Anthony Horderns’ fine are gallery on Thursday. ……………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/15455023 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wed 10 Jun 1914 (p.7): PUCK’S GIRDLE A number of the women painters met at Miss Ethel Stephen’s studio on Monday afternoon to say “good-bye” to Miss Cusack and Miss Alice [sic] Cusack, who are leaving for Europe next Saturday. During the afternoon their friends presented Miss Cusack with a wrist watch, and her sister with a travelling clock. The Misses Cusack are going first to London, where they will probably have a studio. They also intend spending some time in Paris at their work, and have planned a caravan trip through England for their holidays. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Mon 29 Mar 1915 (p.2): IN SOCIETY AND OUT Misses Edith and Aline Cusack, well-known Sydney artists, who are visiting England at present, are energetic workers for the British Red Cross Society. They attend the workrooms of the Hotel Windsor branch. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sun 19 Mar 1916 (p.19): Social Gossip Among the most regular workers at the Anzac Buffet in London are the Misses Cusack, of Sydney, who are daily in attendance. Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 7 Dec 1916 (p.26): SYDNEY WEEK BY WEEK Those two favorite Sydney artists, Edith and Aline Cusack, have adopted an interesting way of helping along war funds and at the same time lightening the labor troubles in rural England. In the strawberry season they, with a number of women University students, went round the country in an old caravan, in which they slept at night, and in the daytime occupied themselves at various strawberry gardens picking fruit for the market. Their wages were given to the Red Cross Society. The Misses Cusack are, now that winter is setting in, residing in their London flat, in which they house a brother and sister, two Belgian refugees, and in writing to a friend in Sydney, Miss Cusack mentions that there are very few people in England who haven’t a Belgian or two as guests. Sunday Times (Syd, NSW), Sun 4 Dec 1921 (p.13): SISTER ARTISTS Our Wild Flowers in Oil and Water Color The art show of the Cusack sisters now showing at Messrs Anthony Hordern and Son’s gallery should prove one of the most interesting and pleasant exhibitions that Sydney Art patrons have enjoyed this year. The sisters share almost equal honors in the painting of flowers, but in other departments Miss Edith Cusack’s display surpasses her sister’s. The artist will be well remembered here in pre-war days for their excellent work in painting wild flowers. This exhibition shows that they profited much in furthering their art while abroad, although they did strenuous voluntary work all during the war. …………………………………………………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/123241591 Sydney Mail (NSW), Wed 28 Dec 1921 (p.23): Women’s Page [Photos] The Misses Cusack are two of Sydney’s best-known women painters. After an absence of seven years from New South Wales they have returned, and have been showing the artistic results of their labours abroad. They left Sydney in 1914, and reached London two days after war had been declared. All their plans were at once upset, and they were fully engaged in war work in England and France until 1919, when they once more turned their attention to their art. (Photos: Judith Fletcher) http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/162034333 The Age (Melb, Vic), Tue 2 Mar 1926 (p.10): Paintings by Misses Edith and Aline Cusack The Misses Edith and Aline Cusack are holding an exhibition of oils and water colors at the Athenaeum Gallery, 188 Collins-street, which will open to-day and continue till 13th March. They are showing pictures that they have done abroad on a recent tour, and some notable pieces of flower painting. Scenes are depicted in Italy, Switzerland, also of well-known English churches and homes. …………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/155784370 The Sun (Syd, NSW), Sun 26 Apr 1931 (p.26): SUSAN SAYS… The Cusack sisters, Edith and Aline, both gifted with their brush, are settled once again in their home in William-street, North Sydney, after many years wandering on the other side. I was interested to learn that their uncle was that famous member of the Holmes clan who left the navy and pioneered the wine industry in the Hunter Valley. On the walls of the old homestead (the vineyard was named “The Wilderness”), which his relatives still occupy, are the portraits of his ancestors brought out from England in the early days of the colony. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 24 May 1941 (p.12): DEATHS CUSACK – May 20, 1941, at her residence Pymble, Edith Eleanora, loved sister of Aline. Privately cremated. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 16 Jul 1949 (p.28): DEATHS CUSACK, Aline Margaret – July 12, 1949, at her residence, 1 Bromley Avenue, Pymble.