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State Library of NSW
Beryl Whiteleyc 1940s
There is uncertainty about the artist of this portrait of Beryl Whiteley. Once described as ‘a cool strawberry blonde vision of perfect bones and fashion’, Beryl Whiteley was delighted when the Library purchased this artwork to complement her collected papers. Based on correspondence at the time, the Library initially attributed the painting to Beryl’s son Brett Whiteley. However, subsequent analysis of the style led to questions about the artist and the date.
The Whiteleys were part of the local arts community on Sydney’s lower North Shore. Known as the Northwood Group, this enclave of artists included William Edwin (WEP) Pidgeon, Roland Wakelin, George Lawrence and Lloyd Rees.