May and Herbert Gibbs Collection


J.O. Kelly
May Gibbs, 1928




The day she met J.O., May knew she would marry him
-and she did


Poor little Butsy
Herbert Gibbs, 1898




May's friend Caroline
Butler wasn't always a
willing subjectů
particularly when
May wanted her to pose


Aunt Emily, 1 Denmark Avenue
May Gibbs, 1910



May spent Christmas with
Aunt Emily in Wimbledon while waiting for her first book to be published.


Self Portrait

May Gibbs, 1947




While many of May's self portraits were unflattering caricatures, this seems
more balanced in its portrayal.


Cecilia Gibbs - Mother
May Gibbs, 1909




The warm familiarity of
this sketch belies tensions
between May and her
mother. In 1909, Cecie had insisted on accompanying her 32 yr-old daughter to London-and it did
not suit May at all.


Mother, 'Nutcote'
May Gibbs,1928




May's parents made
lengthy visits to Nutcote,
the house that May and J.O. built in Sydney.


Cecie - sketch
Herbert Gibbs, 1914




May parents were always happy together, and this image evokes that warmth.


My brother Harold
May Gibbs, 1909




May's youngest brother Harold attended school in England, and this sketch
may well have been
produced during her third visit to London.


Untitled [Portrait of
Herbert W Gibbs]

May Gibbs, nd



May's first love was her
teacher and mentor, her father. He was the yardstick against which all other men were measured.


Brother, Harold Gibbs
with violin

May Gibbs, 1894



May spent a great deal
of time looking after
Harold while Cecie
rehearsed for musical
plays. This unconventional pose refelcts the
importance of music in
the family.

For May and Herbert Gibbs, inspiration came from the ones they loved

Creative expression was like oxygen to the Gibbs family. May's mother Cecie maintained various artistic involvements while her father was a painter and mentor to younger artists. Perhaps no other youngster caught Herbert's attention as much as his daughter May. May was encouraged to experiment and her technical skills developed on this creative foundation. Her ability to record events with startling imagination and detail are expressed in the tenderly humorous Funny Little Top Knot, pen practise on Mother. While still life and landscape were the more fashionable themes of the day, May's interest in human character and form are captured in her gentle portrait of her brother
Ivan Gibbs in 1894.