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Dorothy Kay - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Dorothy Kay (1886 - 1964)

Art Education
- 1900: Dublin Metropolitan School of Art; Royal Hibernian Academy School. Dorothy Kay also made study trips to Paris, but considered herself self-taught.

Short Artist Biography
- A member of the Elvery family, which had long been associated with the arts.
- 1910 : Dorothy Kay came to South Africa to marry Hobart Kay FRCS.
- 1916 : They settled in Port Elizabeth, where both became very active in artistic affairs.
- 1918 : Founder-member of EP Society of Arts and Crafts. Extremely energetic in several fields; a keen sailor, was for a time the fastest spinnaker-hand in South Africa. Always a zealous worker, she observed a disciplined programme, spending a fixed period in her studio each day.
- 1924 : Dorothy Kay elected member of Royal British & Colonial Society of Artists; began to etch; her etchings subsequently included in “Fine Prints of the Year: - 1929 and 1934.
- 1926 : An etching – Romance – was purchased by Queen Mary from the Dominion Artists’ Exhibition, London; began a long career as illustrator to the “Outspan”. Traveled widely in South Africa and abroad, always armed with sketch-book. Executed scores of commissioned portraits.
- 1940 : Dorothy Kay commissioned by Union Government to paint a record of war effort on the home front – eg Surgery and Blood Donor in South African National War Museum. Johannesburg. Represented on numerous national and international exhibitions; ceased one-man exhibitions after 1955.
- 1957 : Two paintings, Annie Mavata and Rome, Self-portrait highly commended on the exhibition, “Portrait of a Woman by a Woman” at Sydney Art Gallery, Australia.

Art Exhibitions
- 1922 : Dorothy Kay's first one-man exhibition, Grahamstown. Regular participant on Eastern Province society exhibitions.
- 1924 : South African Section, Empire Exhibition, Wembley.
- 1926 : Dominion Artists’ Exhibition, London.
- 1940 : Royal Academy
- 1952 : Van Riebeeck Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town.
- 1956 : First Quad of South African Art.
- 1960 : Second Quad of South African Art; South African Graphic Art Exhibition in Yugoslavia and Munich.
- 1961 : Soa Paulo Bien (graphic).
- 1964 : Third Quad of South African Art; Venice Bien (graphic).
- 1965 : Posthumous – “South African Women Artist”, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
- 1966 : Prestige retrospective art exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum, Durban Art Gallery; Republic Fest Exhibition, Pretoria.
- 1979 : “South African Printmakers”, South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town.
- 1982 : Prestige Retrospect Exhibition, South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town.

Public Art collections
South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town; Durban Art Gallery; Pretoria Art Museum, Grahamstown; Queenstown Art Gallery; Africana Museum, Johannesburg; South African National War Museum, Johannesburg.

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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