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CILENTO, Margaret
1923 - 2006

1923, Sydney – 2006, Melbourne

As a child, Margaret Cilento travelled with her family to Papua New Guinea before settling in Brisbane in 1928. During the 1930s, she studied at Somerville House and Brisbane’s Central Technical College while attending art classes run by Caroline Barker. In 1940, she studied drawing under FJ Martyn Roberts before commencing study at the East Sydney Technical College in 1941. In 1947, Cilento won the Wattle League travelling art scholarship, and while in New York, studied at Atelier 17 and the Brooklyn Institute of Art and Sciences. During this time, she shared a studio with fellow Australian Elaine Haxton. She met the American artists Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman and Joseph Albers through her attendance at the school known as the Subjects of the Artist. In 1950, Cilento moved to London, then to Paris, sharing an apartment with Margaret Olley and Anne Wienholt; while in Paris, the French Government awarded her a scholarship to attend the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France. After returning to Brisbane in 1951, she was employed at both Stuartholme School and Clayfield College, before moving to London and graduating from Goldsmiths College with an art teacher’s qualification. Cilento married in 1963 and returned to Australia, settling in Melbourne in 1965.

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Margaret Cilento: House at Annerley Junction


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