How Many Kinds of Sweet Flowers Grow In an English Country Garden?

‘In a Chelsea Garden’  (1913) oil on canvas (87.5 cm x 61 cm)

Dora Meeson (1869–1955) was an Australian artist and an elected member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London, England.

While living in London, she married fellow artist George James Coates, on 23 July, 1903. In order to establish themselves, she supported her husband’s art by producing her own artworks for ‘quick and ready’ sales in the art market.

  • After the ‘Great War’ she and her husband toured Australia for 6 months.

In Meeson’s ‘In a Chelsea Garden’ she has presented an almost idealised scene of a woman in a garden. Dressed in Grecian-style clothing and carrying a fashionable Japanese parasol, the subject is isolated from the mercantile city surroundings. This work combined Meeson’s strength in portraiture with her love of picturesque gardens. It sits firmly within the body of the British Impressionist movement during the Edwardian period.

  • ‘In a Chelsea Garden’ is on view at the: Castlemaine Art Museum, Victoria, Australia.

As a suffragette, representation of Dora Meeson’s banner for the British Artists Suffrage League was used for the design of the Australian 2003 commemorative dollar coin celebrating the ‘Centenary of Women’s Suffrage‘.

  • “Ohhh, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” – for Suffragette City [David Bowie acknowledgement]

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