McCRAE, Georgiana Huntly (1804-1890), née GORDON


McCRAE, Georgiana Huntly (1804-1890), née GORDON
artist and diarist
was born at London, on 15 March 1804. She was educated at a convent school and later at Claybrook House, Fulham, and the New Road boarding school. After leaving school, Miss Gordon had lessons in music from a daughter of Thomas Holcroft, in landscape painting from John Varley, and in miniature painting from Charles Hayter. She proved to be an apt pupil. On 25 September 1830 she was married to her cousin, Andrew Murison McCrae, and on 26 October 1840 she sailed for Australia in the Argyle with her four small children. Her husband had preceded her. She arrived at Melbourne on 1 March 1841. After living for about a year in the city, the family moved to Abbotsford, about two miles away, where a brick house was built from Mrs McCrae's own drawings. Three years later her husband took up land at Arthur's Seat as a cattle station. They remained there until most of the children were grown up: four more were born between 1841 and 1851. On removing to Melbourne, Mrs McCrae's house became the meeting-place of the leading literary and artistic people of the time. In 1857 she showed some excellent miniatures in the exhibition of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts, but the bringing up of a large family in pioneer days left her little leisure for artistic work. Mrs McCrae is not represented in any of the national galleries of Australia, but some miniatures, sketch books, and a few drawings are in the possession of her descendants. A list of her miniatures painted in Great Britain is given in her diary. Some suggestion of her ability as a miniaturist may be found in the reproductions of the portraits of herself and her husband in Georgiana's Journal which, edited by her grandson, Hugh McCrae, was published in 1934. This transcript of her diary from 1841 to 1846 proved to be a most interesting first-hand record of how the pioneers lived in the early days of the colony of Victoria. As a contribution to the social history of the time it can never lose its its value. Mrs McCrae was a woman of great courage, personality and ability, who was prevented by the conditions of her life from reaching her full height as an artist. She died at Hawthorn, near Melbourne, on 24 May 1890, and was survived by seven children. Her son, George Gordon McCrae, is noticed separately.
Edited by Hugh McCrae, Georgiana's Journal; private information.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Georgiana McCrae — Georgiana Gordon McCrae (15 March 1804 – 24 May 1890) was an Australian painter and diarist.Early life and family backgroundBorn in London, she was the illegitimate daughter of George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon and Jane Graham. The Marquis of… …   Wikipedia


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