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Schoolgirls of Glenferrie

Source: Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

Currently on exhibition at Heidi Museum of Modern Art is Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls. The series of paintings was produced between 1952-1955 and was inspired by Charles Blackman’s observations of schoolgirls along Glenferrie Road. After moving from Sydney to Melbourne in 1951, Blackman began to “make drawings of the local schoolgirls walking and playing in the streets and taking the tram along Glenferrie Road ” (Heidi Museum of Art).

Among other schools, Glenferrie Hawthorn is home to Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) and Ruytons Girls’ School. As much as Blackman noticed the presence of the school girls around Glenferrie Hawthorn back in 1951, they are still present here today. You can see the girls in their uniforms along the street before and after school, inside shops, cafe's, food outlets and on public transport.

The Schoolgirls series explores the feelings of isolation, vulnerability and innocence under threat in the postwar era. Blackman collected inspiration from a number of sources. Such as, poetry, surrealist illustrations and most heavily, the observations of children interacting in the city streets. The Schoolgirls series was a turning point in Blackman’s career and established him as a significant painter of the time. The exhibition presents more than fifty major paintings from private and public collections.

On until 18 June 2017, have a look for yourself and see if you can pick up any Glenferrie influence within the paintings.

Schoolgirl Maquette- The schoolgirl Ballet Project 1955.

(Picture left): Charles Blackman- Schoolgirl Maquette for Schoolgirl Ballet Project 1955.

(Picture Above): Charles Blackman- The Shadow 1952

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