(d.Nude from behind)


Figurative, charcoal drawing on paper of a nude female figure

Historical information

The association of the City of Fremantle Art Collection with the then newly established Fremantle Art Gallery in 1978 (Short Street building which closed in 1987) fostered a significant donation of 43 drawings and paintings by Kathleen O’Connor, C.Y. O'Connor's youngest daughter. This important gift drawn from the family holding was made by Sir Ernest Lee-Steere on behalf of his mother Lady (Bridget) Lee-Steere, the artists’ sister. Immediately the O’Connor gift proved a popular drawcard for the Collection at the Gallery and established the largest public collection of the artist’s painting in Australia.



Registration number
Item type
22.3000 cm
Height or length
30 cm
Inscriptions and markings

Signed lower right below image in charcoal 'K L O' C'

Contextual Information

Kathleen (Kate) O'Connor was born in 1876 at Hokitika, New Zealand and is the daughter of C.Y. O'Connor, the renowned engineer responsible for the Fremantle Harbour and Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. Kate moved to Western Australia with her family when she was a child, in 1891, and studied at the Perth Technical School under James Linton and taught the subject part time at Evelyn Hill's School, Perth. From 1905, she studied in London at the Bushey School of Art under Hubert von Herkomer. She spent some time working in Syndey in fashion stores, before moving to Paris, France where she lived from 1907 to 1950. From 1911 she exhibited prominently in Paris, featuring at the Salon d'Automne, Salon Française, and Société des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs. As well as in Perth at the Claude Hotchin Galleries, including several solo exhibitions. She returned to Australia permanently in 1955, living in Perth reluctantly until she passed in 1968.

Kate is a significant Australian female artist with a very distinct body of works as a painter and as a major figure of the late Edwardian to interwar generation of Australian artists. Her style was heavily influenced by Frensh impressionism, but she maintained a strong sense of form. Her works included small, intimate studies of strangers in public parks, large decorative still lifes, and portraits, which by 1965 became her preferred form. She exhibited in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. In 1958, she won the Western Australian section of the Perth Prize Competition and in 1962 won the B.P. prize at the Commonwealth Games art competition. A retrospective show was held at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 1967, and her work is featured in the National Library of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, and all State galleries.

Primary significance criteria
Artistic or aesthetic significance
Historic significance
Social or spiritual significance
Comparative significance criteria
Object’s condition or completeness
Rare or representative
Well provenanced
City of Fremantle Art Collection

City of Fremantle Art Collection

Organisation Details
View Collection
Item Feedback

Figurative charcoal drawing depicting the back of a nude female figure

Scan this QR code to open this page on your phone ->