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Queensland Art Gallery Opens Daphne Mayo: Let There Be Sculpture

The Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane presents Daphne Mayo: Let There Be Sculpture an exhibition on view from November 5, 2011 to January 15, 2012 in the Xstrata Coal Queensland Artists Gallery.

Daphne Mayo (Australia 1895–1982), The robed figure of the State, the centrepiece of Daphne Mayo’s Brisbane City Hall tympanum 1927–30. Photo: Richard Stringer, 2011.

The career of Daphne Mayo, one of Queensland’s most significant artists and the creator of some of Brisbane’s grandest monuments will be celebrated in an important exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG).

The exhibition will feature over 50 works, including portrait busts, architectural ornaments, official commissions and modernist experiments. It will highlight not only an outstanding career but also Mayo’s important place in the social history of Brisbane and Queensland

After completing her training at London’s Royal Academy, Daphne Mayo returned to her home town of Brisbane in 1925. Her return coincided with the formation of Greater Brisbane, which brought the city new prestige and wealth, and also the building of the new, one million-pound City Hall.
‘Mayo then set about creating some of Brisbane’s grandest monuments, with the city’s first Lord Mayor, William Jolly, employing her to ornament the new City Hall,’ Mr Ellwood said.
‘In addition to being one of Queensland’s most significant artists, Daphne Mayo was also a cultural leader throughout her career and was a passionate advocate for the visual arts in Queensland.
‘Mayo was instrumental in founding the Queensland Art Fund in 1929 and the Godfrey Rivers Trust in 1932, both of which were instrumental in transforming the Queensland Art Gallery collection with many fine examples of contemporary art.
‘Curated by guest curator Dr Judith McKay and Michael Hawker, Assistant Curator, Australian Art to 1975, Queensland Art Gallery, this exhibition is the first retrospective for this remarkable artist to be mounted by a state gallery.
‘Visitors to the exhibition will encounter the full diversity of Mayo’s work, including her little known modernist experiments of the 1940s and works that have entered public collections in recent decades,’ Mr Ellwood said.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a guide to some of the works in the Gallery’s Collection that were acquired with Mayo’s assistance. An exhibition publication will also be available from the Gallery store.

For more information on ‘Daphne Mayo: Let There Be Sculpture’ please visit

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