Catalogue entry

T03554 Woman in a Hat c.1964

Oil on hardboard 48 × 48 (1219 × 1219)
Not inscribed
Presented by Lord McAlpine 1983
Prov: Lord McAlpine (purchased from the artist)
Exh: Nolan, David Jones; Art Gallery, Sydney, May 1965 (one of 18–22, all this size and all entitled ‘Head’)

This was one of six paintings of heads of women wearing monstrous hats decorated with artificial flowers which were shown together at David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, in May 1965. It was suggested then by one of the critics (Morning Herald, Sydney, 5 May 1965) that they had been inspired by the sight of women wearing hats like these at the garden party at the 1964 Adelaide Festival of Arts, which Nolan had attended; however Nolan says that he was thinking more of Australian country women with their ‘dried, sad look’, who get dressed up to come into town for country agricultural shows and the like. He had himself worked for four years as a young man in the art department of a hat factory, designing men's and women's hats.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986