Born in 1897, Norman Lindsay is regarded as one of Australia's greatest and most controversial artists. With diverse talents ranging from writing and sculpting, to editorial cartooning, Norman Lindsay's work ban be found in eminent collections here in Australia and overseas. Whilst particularly famous for his nudes and political cartoons, Norman was author of the immensely successful and much-loved children's book, The Magic Pudding which, since first being published in 1918, has never been out of print. Norman Lindsay died in 1969, however his popularity and admiration of his work and his life continue strong to this day. We have listed ten frequently asked questions at the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum and it is with thanks that we use their answers to these questions.
WHEN WAS NORMAN BORN AND WHEN DID HE DIE?
Norman was born on 22 February 1879 and died at 90 years of age on 21 November 1969.
WHEN DID NORMAN DIE AND WHERE IS HE BURIED?
Norman died in Springwood Hospital and is buried in Springwood Cemetery.
HOW OLD IS THE HOUSE?
It was built for Francis Foy of the Mark Foy family in 1895 by Paddy Ryan who was a local stonemason. Originally called Marryville by Francis Foy, Norman renamed the home Springwood.
DID NORMAN LIVE AT SPRINGWOOD ALL HIS LIFE?
No. Norman was born in Creswick, Victoria and moved to Melbourne for his first job; later moving to Sydney to live and work on the Bulletin. He also had a studio at 12 Bridge Street, Sydney where he used to stay but Springwood was still his home, He lived at Springwood from 1912 until his death in 1969.
WHO LOOKS AFTER THE PROPERTY NOW?
It is owned and run by the National Trust. When Norman died, he left over forty works as well as furniture, ship models and books to the Trust on condition that they purchase the property to display them. The Trust launched a public appeal and the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum was opened on 25 February 1973.
HOW MANY OF NORMAN'S FAMILY WERE ARTISTS?
Norman was one of nine children, five of whom were artists.
Percy - 17 September 1870 - 21 September 1952
Lionel - 17 October 1874 - 22 May 1961
Norman - 22 February 1879 - 21 November 1969
Daryl - 31 December 1889 - 25 December 1976
Ruby - 20 March 1885 - 12 March 1919
DID NORMAN HAVE ANY CHILDREN?
Yes. Norman had three sons from his first marriage to Catherine (Kate) Parkinson who he married on 23 May 1900.
Jack - 20 October 1900 - 8 March 1990
Raymond - 25 August 1903 - 13 June 1960
Philip - 30 April 1906 - 4 January 1958
Norman married Rose Soady on 14 January 1920 and had two daughters.
Jane - 16 January 1920 - 12 October 1999
Helen (Honey) - 1922 -
ARE ANY OF NORMAN'S MODELS STILL ALIVE?
Yes. Pearl Goldman (nee Schweig) was born on 12 April 1918 and has lived a very busy life travelling, giving talks and opening exhibitions of Norman's work. Pearl published a small book on her life titled Memories of Norman Lindsay and the Theatre in 1999.
WHO ARE NORMAN'S MOST FAMOUS MODELS?
Rose, Norman's second wife, is seen in many paintings and etchings - most notably in the watercolours The Curtain and Where War Ends and the oil painting Court to Peacocks.
Rita Young (nee Lee) is immortalised in many of Norman's oil paintings such as Rita of the Nineties, Two Models and Crete as well as the beautiful watercolour portrait, Rita of the Eighties.
Pearl Goldman (nee Schweig) was another of Norman's well-known models seen in many drawings and oil paintings such as Imperia, Amazons, Crete and Ladies from Olympus.
WAS THE FILM SIRENS FILMED AT SPRINGWOOD?
Yes, most of it. The Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum was closed for a couple of months while they filmed. They used the Oil Room but built their own studio in the grounds. The story of the movie is fictious although it is loosely based on one true incident - the controversy surrounding the pen and ink drawing The Crucified Venus.