“Looie Ellen Harvie (called after her aunt Lucretia and her mother Ellen) was born in Ballarat on July 26, 1871, the daughter of William Harvie and Ellen Darcy Lang. Brought to Melbourne as an infant, she later attended the Model School in Spring Street (later the Melbourne High School). After leaving school she acted as a reader to the teacher of Greek at P.L.C. as he was blind. Her elder brother Robert belonged to the Eaglemont and Chartrisville artists camps (Chartersville, Ivanhoe). They both became members of the Victorian Artists’ Society. She trained as a nurse at the Melbourne Hospital in the nineties and became a ward Sister. She then passed a course in midwifery nursing at the Women’s Hospital and nursed private cases for six years for Dr. Constance Ellis, one of Melbourne’s pioneer women doctors. She attended the Gallery Art School, and in 1911 travelled to Europe. Looie spent some time in Italy, painted in Rome and also worked in a Paris atelier. She returned to Melbourne and for a number of years acted as monitor for the evening life class at the Victorian Artists’ Society. In 1918 she joined the Society of Women Painters. In 1921 she became their Honorary Treasurer, in 1922 their Honorary Secretary, and in 1923 combined both offices. In 1927 she went to Europe for several years. She studied etching in Bordighera and sketched in Italy, France and Belgium. She returned to Melbourne in 1930 and become Hononary Secretary again in 1931. In 1932 she resigned having lost the sight of one eye. In 1935 she was elected President and in 1937 was Vice-President, but she resigned the office in 1938 due to the loss of the sight in her other eye. She kept her membership of the society and continued to take a great interest and attended meetings for many years. She attended the opening of the exhibition of work on the occasion of the Society’s 50th anniversary. Many of her artist friends kept in touch with her. She died on April 29th, 1970, in her ninety-ninth year.” ~Quoted from SLV Biographical/Historical note (With minor corrections and additions). This 1920’s photo was taken at the Ruskin Studio at 225 Collins Street, Melbourne. If you would like the full sized unedited image, it’s available for download at the State Library of Victoria. Click Here (Tif, 3423 x 5325, 52.1m).
1871,14042,,Harvie,Looie Ellen,William,Lang Ellen Darcy,Ballarat,