Nora Heysen: A Portrait

Nora Heysen: A Portrait
Anne-Louise Willoughby
Fremantle Press

‘We lived art, talked art, drank art and the visitors were artists so that was my diet when I was young.’ – Nora Heysen

Nora Heysen (1911-2003) was a still life and portrait painter who at the age of 15 turned the stables at her family home, ‘The Cedars’, into a studio, funded by the first sale of her work. Navigating the conservative social structures of the era, when women artists were not taken seriously and shadowed by her artist-father, Hans Heysen, Nora paved her own way. In 1938 she became the first woman to win the Archibald Prize, and in 1943 was Australia’s first female official war artist.

Through exclusive access to the Heysen family papers and photographs, Anne-Louise Willoughby presents Nora’s story.