An undated photograph of Alma Figuerola and an as yet unidentified man hanging paintings for an art exhibition, which may be one of the Kew Arts Festivals (1944-51).
The Melbourne artist Alma Agnes Marion Figuerola, was the daughter of Juan Pedro Narciso Figuerola (1869-1919) and Alice Lucinda Walker Hanson (1889-1969). Each of their three daughters grew up to be involved in the arts: Alma as a painter; Carmen Irene (1906-1993) as a short story writer, poet and teacher of dancing; and Sylvia (also Silvia) Lyla Alice (1911-1992) as a composer and cellist. The first art lessons Alma Figuerola received were with Oscar Binder. Later she attended the art school established by the Melbourne 'tonalist' [Duncan] Max Meldrum (1875-1955). She graduated from his school in 1920, participating in her first group exhibition in the same year. Solo exhibitions of her work were to be held in 1933 at the Meldrum Gallery in Elizabeth Street, in 1937 and 1945 at the Athenaeum Gallery at 188 Collins Street, and in 1951 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street. Throughout her extensive career she participated in group exhibitions, usually with artists of the Meldrum School, and as a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, of which she was invited to become an associate in 1935. In 1953, her portrait of Professor ES Hills was entered in the Archibald Prize Competition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A resident of Kew from the 1930s - 51 Studley Park Road, often with her mother, her sister Carmen, or both - from c.1942 until her death she lived at 'D’Estaville', 7 Barry Street. From the late 1930s she is recorded as actively contributing to the arts at a local level. In 1939 and 1940 she participated in art exhibitions at the Hawthorn Municipal Library organised by Jessie Carbines. From 1944 to 1951 she co-organised successive Kew Arts Festivals, initially in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Highbury Grove and later at the Recreation Hall in Wellington Street. A foundation member of the Kew Historical Society in 1958, Alma Figuerola remained an active member of the Society until her death on 8 December 1970. She predeceased her two sisters who both died in the 1990s and who are buried at Andersons' Creek Cemetery in Warrandyte.
Inscriptions & Markings
On reverse, handwritten "4583 Alma Figuerola"
Photographer stamp" Copy Right This photograph may not be reproduced without permission in writing from the Editor of "The Age", *** Collins Street, Melbourne, and Pitt Street, Sydney"