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Maud Sherwood

Born 1880, Maud began classes at the Wellington Technical School of Art in the 1890s, where her teachers included School founder Arthur Riley, as well as influential artists James Nairn and Mabel Hill. By 1894 she was clearly on a path to success, having won scholarships with the affiliated South Kensington art examinations in London, while also exhibiting with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and Craft Guild and receiving commissions for her fresh and vivid work. In the early 1900s she taught at the Technical School, before heading to Europe where she painted alongside Frances Hodgkins and attended classes in France. Maud retuned to live in Sydney, and after a brief marriage, continued to paint and exhibit to great acclaim. In 1924 she was elected the only woman member of the Committee of the Watercolour Institute of Sydney. Maud exhibited internationally throughout her career and her work placed her among leading watercolourists in Australia; she received a Coronation Medal in 1937 and an Australian 150th Anniversary Exhibition Medal in 1938. In 1937 she became a foundation member of the Australian Academy of Art. She not only had confidence in her artistic expression, but also the tenacity to follow her artistic passion in an era when a woman travelling alone and pursuing an artistic career in New Zealand, Europe and Australia was a rare and daring thing. She was a pioneer and role-model for other women.