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Daisy Wallder painting with views of South Perth and Como at the Swan River

An unknown painter: Perth's Daisy Wallder

Ignored by Australia's Arts Scene establishment, this remarkable artist ought to be celebrated

She exhibited alongside Arthur Streeton, she is mentioned in the famous French historical Arts Catalogues, but she was and still is fully ignored in Perth, in Western Australia and elsewhere in Australia. There are no justifications for this ignorance.

Daisy Wallder is an artist who ought to be celebrated, honoured and exhibited in Australia's Major Art Galleries.

Below is Daisy Wallder's life and career summary as a downloadable PDF file, compiled from the Australian National Archives' Trove newspaper collections and other sources.

Miss Daisy Wallder's Exhibition (Nov 1913)

The West Australian, Perth,
Saturday 22 Nov 1913, page 12.

If residents of Perth do not appreciate the art of the painter it is not owing to lack of opportunity. During recent months there has been a succession of art exhibitions, individual and collective, and today Miss Daisy Wallder exhibits for private view an interesting and varied collection of her work in oils, water-colour, pastel, and charcoal.

A proportion of the pictures exhibited by Miss Wallder were painted during her sojourn on the Continent and in England, but in the majority of instances the artist has found her inspiration in scenes familiar to all whose eyes are not blind to the beauty of the environs of Perth. "A Summer Morning, King's Park" will attract instant attention. Perth is suggested in the middle distance and the sweep of the foreshore in process of reclamation is well depicted. The sky and river are good and altogether the picture is harmonious and pleasing.

"King's Park" is hardly well named. This is another view of the Swan lapping at the river portal of the city, flecked with the pleasure fleet at its moorings, with South Perth faintly indicated. "South Perth, from King's Park" shows the curving beaches on Melville Water stretching towards the Canning. The picture, which is subdued in light and tone, faithfully renders a scene of never-failing charm. "Before the Storm, Causeway" successfully suggests the heavy atmosphere and stillness that precede the unleashing of the wind, and is well painted.

For her seascapes Miss Wallder goes to the North Beach. "A Sunny Day, North Beach" shows a strip of sandhill, with the ocean in repose stretching to the horizon. The painting of sand and honeycombed rocks is good, but the sea is somewhat lacking in freshness and life. "North Beach" (No. 18) has very good features. The low scrub-clad hills are well painted and the atmospheric effect is good. The sea again is a little heavy. A similar scene is depicted in No. 18, in a lighter tone. "Guildford" is well composed and good in colour. "Autumnal Tints, Paris" has a charming impressionistic effect, and "Bruges" with its old red-roofed stone houses, is a restful study in which grey is the predominating note.

The artist has been most successful in her "Study of Fruit". The pomegranates, pears and peaches look most tempting and do not faintly suggest paint. Pastel is apparently medium with Miss Wallder. "Morning Mists, Causeway" is an ambitious effort in which no small measure of success has been achieved. The prosaic landscape is glorified by the film of mist slowly lifting at the bidding of the sun. The effect of morning freshness is cleverly given. The luscious greenness of Surrey is shown in several pleasing little sketches, and in one or two glimpses of the Continent the old-world atmosphere has been caught. Two pastel sketches of a huddle of picturesque old buildings in Rouen are charming. There is a subdued richness in the contrasting blues and browns that is eminently pleasing. An "Interior" showing a feminine figure seated on a Chesterfield couch has good points; the upholstery is particularly well done.

The "Portrait" in coloured chalks and charcoal contains some bold drawing. There is clever handling of blue, green, and black in "Shadows". "Pont Napoleon, Paris" will occasion regret that Miss Wallder has not exhibited work of her skill in the handling of water colour. The picture is small but full of charm. The still, faintly green water and the stone bridge are very well painted, and there is a clearness and freshness in the picture which are most attractive.

A modest selection of black and white work lends variety to the exhibition. The portraits of the Nun and a Neapolitan are full of character and well drawn. Other drawings of Italian, French, and Spanish peasant types are also skillfully executed and display Miss Walder's versatility.

The exhibition which will be open to the public at 'Staplehurst', 1202 Hay Street West, during next week, should be appreciated by all lovers of art in Perth. This brief notice can do no more than touch upon a proportion of the examples of the artist's talent and industry. The pictures will make their own appeal to the artistic.

West Australian. (1913). ART IN PERTH: Miss Daisy Wallder's Exhibition. The West Australian, Perth. Sat 22 Nov 1913, page 12. Trove Newspapers Online. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from