Thursday March 28, 2013

Cayley & Son: a celebration

Cockatoo and koala (left) by Neville Henry Cayley. Neville William Cayley (centre) with example (right) of his work. Courtesy National Library of Australia.

We are very fortunate to have such a variety of unique vibrant flora, ingenious fauna and colourful birdlife. A stroll through the harbourside parks in Mosman still reveals these wonderful specimens which have survived the onslaught of urbanisation.

Undoubtedly this could not be the case without the dedication of conservationists, over the decades, who realizing the significance of our native gems have lectured on, written about and painted these rare plants and animals.

Mosman Library has the privilege of hosting the Sydney launch of a long awaited book on two significant artists and conservationists: Cayley & Son: the life and art of Neville Henry Cayley and Neville William Cayley by Penny Olsen and published by the National Library of Australia.

Neville William Cayley Jnr (1886–1950) artist and ornithologist encouraged the conservation of flora and fauna; respected for his work on Australian native birdlife and perhaps best known for What Bird Is That? the first field guide to Australian birds. He was a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society, responsible for Taronga Zoo Park, and President in 1932. He also established the society’s important ornithological, Budgerigar, Apicultural and Biological Survey Sections.

In 1940 Sir Edward Hallstrom, a trustee and one time director of Taronga Zoo Park, commissioned Cayley jnr to paint 29 portraits of Australian cockatoos and parrots. These were presented by local Mosman resident, the Hon. Clive R Evatt, to the Royal Zoological Society and hung in their rooms at the zoo.

Penny Olsen, author of Cayley & Son, and David Crane, Australiana collector and Cayley enthusiast, in conversation. Watch on YouTube.

The book launch, on 8 April 2013 at 7pm, will be an entertaining evening with author, Penny Olsen in conversation with David Crane, an enthusiastic and dedicated collector of all things Cayley.

The launch will be complemented by an exhibition of rarely seen paintings by both father and son on loan from private collectors. These works have never been on public exhibition and may never be again. A rare event, we even have one of the original Hallstrom birds on display.

Exhibition at Mosman Library. Photos on Flickr.

The exhibition finishes on 20 April 2013.

Update: visit the exhibition on this virtual tour!

— Posted by Donna Braye in  |  Permalink

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