We should no longer marvel at the way art historians are forever finding yet another woman artist to rescue from undeserved obscurity. With Patricia R. McDonald’s tribute to Barbara Tribe we have the work of this eclectic Australian sculptor finally validated in a handsomely produced monograph.
Tribe was born in Sydney in 1913 and is still an active artist and a vibrant personality. However, like Bertram Mackennall, John Peter Russell, and Rupert Bunny, she spent her major productive life out of Australia. In 1935 she became the first sculptor, as well as the first woman, to be awarded the New South Wales Travelling Art Scholarship and, at the age of twenty-two, left for England. Here she distanced herself still further by joining an artistic coterie in remote Cornwall.