Pavlova mystery photo solved

Thanks to dancelines’ reader, Linda Emery, the mystery has been solved. (See dancelines’ post of 18 December).

The location is Sydney’s Macquarie Galleries and the couple on the left of the photo are the sculptor, Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal and his wife Lady Agnes Mackennal (nee Spooner).

The event was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 20 April 1926 under the headline “Water-colours, Blamire Young’s Collection:

“Madame Anna Pavlova went to Macquarie Galleries, Bligh-street, yesterday afternoon to open the exhibition of Blamire Young’s water-colours.

“The many invited guests present were manifestly eager to hear a speech from her upon her introduction by Sir Bertram Mackennal, but smiling vivaciously she merely raised her hands in charming gesture, and murmured “Thank you!” to Sir Bertram Mackennal, who, on her behalf, declared the exhibition open.

“‘We in Europe were astounded by the art of Madame Pavlova when she came to us,’ said Sir Bertram, in his introductory speech. ‘It was a revelation – a new art. Her too short visits to different parts of the world are always eagerly awaited, and I am sure that we are all thankful that Australia has been included in her travels.’

“The exhibition furnishes fresh proof of the distinction of Mr Blamire Young as an artist of delicate fancy and harmonious sense of values. The landscapes, which form the greater part of the collection, are particularly full of expression….”

Blamire Young was born in Yorkshire. He studied mathematics at Cambridge University and taught mathematics at Katoomba College, in New South Wales in the late 19th century.

He returned to England but sailed again for Australia in 1923.

Young settled in Montrose east of Melbourne and was an art critic for the Melbourne Herald.

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Edgar Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931), by Ruth Hollick, National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an11334972

The Doom of Hellas, c 1925, Blamire Young, watercolour on paper

The Bather, Blamine Young, c 1920, Art Gallery of NSW, accession number : 5794