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The Women of the Heidelberg School
The Canvas Ceiling'

After one hundred years the women who were part of Australia's first major art movement, the Heidelberg School, will have their work promoted and recognised through a unique website

The website has received the personal support of the Prime Minister John Howard, and the Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley, with personal messages from both leaders on the site.

The announcement comes with the release of the first stage of the website covering the lives and the works of Australia's major painters Sir Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Charles Conder and Walter Withers.

A special section also covers Tom Roberts and the official painting of the opening of the first Federal Parliament in 1901 as a Federation project.

Ms Shirley Baynes-Smith, Managing Editor of the site today said, that Australia Day had been chosen for the announcement of the project aimed at ensuring the contribution of the five women artists Clara Southern, May Vale, Jane Price, Elizabeth Parsons and Jane Sutherland was recorded and promoted.

Ms Baynes-Smith said, "The Women of the Heidelberg School would also detail the lives and contributions of the wives of Australia's icon painters Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Walter Withers, Charles Conder and Frederick McCubbin.

"It is appropriate to announce this project on Australia Day as it is one of the untold stories in Australia's history and it is time to ensure the full story of the Heidelberg School of Artists is put into the fabric of our culture."

In the Artist's Footsteps, a project developed by the Melbourne based Internet and Communications company medialaunch Pty. Ltd., traces the lives and works of famous Australian artists. The site is being developed as a major education and community resource.

Curator of In the Artist's Footsteps, Art Historian and Author Mr Andrew Mackenzie said, "The inclusion of The Women of the Heidelberg School was both significant and timely as Australia celebrated its Centenary of Federation."

Mr Mackenzie added that for too long the contribution of women during this significant period had been overlooked. The fact that the project would be broadcast into schools and made accessible to galleries, art colleges and the general community would assist in correcting the perception that only men were involved in the Heidelberg School.

Mr Ron Smith, Managing Director of medialaunch said that The Women of the Heidelberg School would be linked to the women's arts register and be expanded each year. A schools program would ensure the information reached the next generation of Australians.

Details of the project and the artists can be found at

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith medialaunch (03) 98185700
Shirley Baynes-Smith Managing Editor In the Artist's Footsteps (03) 98185700

Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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