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Vida Lahey

Lahey

Vida Lahey | Australia 1882-1968 | Monday morning 1912 | Oil on canvas | 153 x 122.7cm Gift of Madame Emily Coungeau through the Queensland Art Society 1912 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Vida Lahey, 'Monday morning', 1912

Vida Lahey
Australia  1882-1968
Monday morning 1912
Oil on canvas
153 x 122.7cm
Gift of Madame Emily Coungeau through the Queensland Art Society 1912
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Vida Lahey

Monday morning 1912

Monday morning 1912 launched Vida Lahey's career when it was exhibited at the annual exhibition of the Queensland Art Society, Brisbane, in 1912.

The painting shows two women doing the weekly wash with copper tubs and bar soap ― once a common sight in Australian households. It is a rare subject in Australian art; women's lives were generally depicted in a more genteel fashion and the acknowledgment of such hard labour was avoided.

Esme, a younger sister of the artist, was the model for the woman at the washtub. She is shown with Flora Campbell, a family friend, doing the washing at the Lahey family home, Greylands, in Indooroopilly, Brisbane.

Monday morning follows the tradition established at the National Gallery of Victoria School, Melbourne, where students were encouraged to produce a large narrative painting to compete for the triennial travelling art scholarship.

This painting is an outstanding work by a young artist and remains Lahey's only surviving large-scale work of the period.