Ludmilla Meilerts

(1908 - 1997)

Selected Timeline

From: Ludmilla Meilerts Retrospective 2014 Exhibition Catalogue, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum

1908 born Ludmilla Krastins 29 February, near Baldone, Latvia, eleventh of twelve children
c.1914-1916 Krastins family moves to Riga after Russia enters the First World War and they remain there for about two years. When the family returns at the end of hostilities they find that their farm has been looted and buildings razed: nothing remains except the land itself.
1918-1924 primary school education subsequently attended secondary school in Riga
1929-1940 studied at Academy of Art Riga under Professors Purvitis and Arnuss
c.1930s various travels and art studies in Europe including Italy, France, Germany, Greece and Sweden
c.1940 studies art in Munich during World War Two presumably returns to Latvia before c.1944
c.1943 marries economist Otto Meilerts
c.1944-45 moves westwards from Latvia to Germany with first of the German troops retreating from the Red Army
1946 August whilst living in a Displaced Persons Camp held an exhibition in Stuttgart, which receives newspaper reviews. She also commissions the production of postcards and prints of her work in Germany
1948 February arrived in Australia under auspices of International Refugee Organisation Group Resettlement to Australia on board the USAT General M.B. Stewart. Fellow Passengers included a number of classical musicians, singers and performers from the Baltic States living in Displaced Persons Camps in West Germany. Her husband Otto came out on a later ship bringing her paintings from Europe
1948 Resident at Bonegilla Migrant Camp and entered a local art competition
1948 August exhibits with Independent Group Melbourne including Lina Bryans, Marjorie North, Edith Alsop, Madge Freeman and Dora Serle
1949 National Gallery of Victoria purchases Flowers (1946)
1949 April solo exhibition Georges Gallery Melbourne
1950 March solo exhibition Athenaeum Melbourne
1950 September solo exhibition Book Club Gallery Melbourne
1950 Equal fifth prize-winner with Fred Williams and major New Zealand woman artist Jan Nigro (1920 - 2012) from 700 entries in the Dunlop Award. Other placegetters include 1st prize Sydney Nolan, 2nd prize Jock Frater, R.W. Rowell, 3rd Prize Arthur Boyd, K. Nichol, 4th prize Charles Bush and Len Annois. Dunlop published a calendar for 1951 with six selected paintings from the competition including Meilerts Flinders Street Station. The company also offers these prints to Australian schools for decorating classrooms
1951 June solo exhibition at Athenaeum Gallery
1951 July national touring exhibition of New Australian art and craft organised by the Commonwealth Migration Department
1951 December won Bendigo Art Prize for Centenary of the Separation of Victoria from New South Wales with Gladioli (1949). Work was acquired by the Bendigo Art Gallery
1954 January applies for naturalisation as an Australian citizen
1954 Exhibition of contemporary Australian art selected by the directors of the state galleries of Australia touring Adelaide and other capital cities
1954 6 Guinea show Peter Bray Galleries Melbourne
1954 Royal Tour Exhibition, Melbourne Town Hall, organised by Fellowship of Australian Artists
1955 August fifth solo exhibition Athenaeum Gallery
1954 August artist Esther Paterson holds a reception in honour of Meilerts at the Lyceum Club Melbourne
1955 Herald Outdoor Art Show, which at this date included a professional artist division
1955 Festival of Perth contemporary art exhibition
1955 Art Gallery of Western Australia acquires Roses
1956 October joint exhibition at Victorian Artists Society with Latvian Australian artist from Adelaide Margarita Stipnieks
1956 December group exhibition of arts and crafts by Latvian Australian women, Melbourne Town Hall
1962 Organises substantial group exhibition of Latvian artists painting in various styles at Victorian Artists Society
c.mid-1960s ceased painting for a short period of time due to pressure of external work commitments
1969 Special prize at Camberwell Rotary Art Show judged by Brian Finemore, curator, National Gallery of Victoria
1971 Won Gosford Council Art Award judged by curator and historian Daniel Thomas
1975, 1976, 1977 prize winner at Royal Melbourne Show
1979 entry in Martins? Gauja et al Latvian Artists in Australia Sydney: Society of Latvian Artists in Australia
1982 Gustave Pirsatz gold medal Victorian Artists Society
1982 Solo exhibition Honeysuckle Street Fine Art Gallery Bendigo
By c.1987 ceased active painting
1987 Private publication of monograph Meilerts with introduction by Sir William Dargie and text by Valentins Sloss
1994 included in More than Just Gumtrees: a personal, social and artistic history of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, Melbourne: MSWPS
1994 August solo exhibition Victorian Artists Society essay by Paul Macdonald Smith
1997 Died in Melbourne
1998 Solo exhibition to raise funds for the Latvian Postgraduate Studies Fund
1999 Posthumous Solo exhibition from Ludmilla Meilerts Estate at Melbourne Fine Art Gallery
2002 Posthumous Solo exhibition from Ludmilla Meilerts Estate at Kozminsky Art, Melbourne
2008 entry in Dagnia Greste et al Australian Latvian Artists Sydney: Society of Latvian Artists in Australia
2013 Posthumous exhibition of flowerpieces Metropolis Gallery, Geelong
2014 Ludmilla Meilerts Retrospective, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum

Longstanding member and regular exhibitor with the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors and the Victorian Artists Society.