Jessie Constance Alicia TRAILL

Born: 29/7/1881

Died: 15/05/1967

Special Achievements:

One of first women to practice etching in Australia

Additional Information:

During the prolonged drought in Central Australia in the 1920s many Aboriginal people died of beri-beri and scurvy.  Pastor Albrecht wanted to pipe good water from Kaporilya Springs 7 km away from the mission.  He received no support from church or government.  In 1932 Melbourne artist Jessie Traill visited Hermannsburg with her friend Una Teague.  Una's sister Violet, hearing of the water problem, hired a Studebaker taxi to drive from Melbourne to Hermannsburg where she painted prolifically and sold her paintings back in Melbourne, along with donated works from the members of the Victorian Artists Society.  She also arranged newspaper appeals.  Enough money was raised to pay for the pipe line.  Aboriginal men dug the trench by hand 7 km long and one metre deep.  Fresh water was piped into Hermannsburg on 1 October 1935.


  • References

    McCulloch, Alan and McCulloch, Susan. (2006).  The Encyclopedia of Australian ArtCarlton, Australia:706

  • References

    Ambrus, Caroline. (1992).  Australian Women Artists:  First Fleet to 1945:  History, Hearsay and Her SayQueanbeyan, Australia:  Irrepressible Press:119-120,165.

  • Image - Jessie Traill

    Description: B&W Portrait of Jessie Traill standing beside her bicycle. Jessie is wearing a long skirt and blouse with a straw hat over her arm and lace up shoes. A bag is hanging from the front handle bars of the bicycle.

    State Library of Queensland and Wikimedia Commons: File:Melbourne artist Jessie Traill with her bicycle (3348630052).jpg

  • Image - Jessie Traill

    Description: Melbourne artist Miss Jessie Traill, Brisbane, 1936. Miss Jessie Traill, the well-known Melbourne artist, is visiting Brisbane on a sketching tour. (Description supplied with photograph). Date: 23 June 1936 Source: The Courier-Mail, Tuesday 23 June 1936. Author: Contributor(s): Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd

    Wikimedia Commons: File:StateLibQld 2 184183 Melbourne artist Miss Jessie Traill, Brisbane, 1936.jpg