The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1911

Flora Scales exhibits Cattle mustering in New Zealand (oil on canvas) [Location Unknown] at the Royal Academy, London, England. In conversation with A. de Lange, January 1982, Scales describes this as a painting of a “white shirted rider on a brown horse riding away with, I think, a stock whip.”

Correspondence Patience Tennent to B. de Lange, 15.02.1982, “Continuing my letter of yesterday, I forgot to tell you Aunt Lass told me that the painting of a man on a horse which was hung in the Royal Academy, was taken by her father and always hung in his office.” Patience also records in a letter to B. de Lange, 13.03.1993, that on their property in Nelson “There was a small studio built onto the end of the garage where my Aunt was able to paint and I remember seeing her plaque there which she was awarded when she had her painting hung in the Royal Academy.”

Correspondence Miss L. Hyslop, Secretary, Geo H. Scales Ltd, to B. de Lange, 13.04.1983, “Further to your letter March 31st the writer discussed the matter of the painting with several Directors and they all felt that when Geo H Scales purchased the painting from the Royal Academy it must have been for his own personal use as no one can recall having seen the painting in the office.”

The work is recorded in the exhibition catalogue on page 28:
Gallery No. XI. Oil Paintings
731 Cattle mustering in New Zealand, Flora Scales

Flora Scales address is listed page 75:
Scales, F. (Miss), 9 Queen Anne's Gardens, Bedford Park. W.

Coming as it did between Roger Fry’s 1910 exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists and the 1912 Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition of British, French and Russian Artists, the Royal Academy Exhibition 1911 was bound to be of particular interest. In his article, 1911 Formalism and Naturalism, Vassil Vesselinov Yordanov, PhD candidate at the University of East Anglia, notes: “None of the 1911 exhibitors resorted to the radical stylistic innovation and dream-like colour schemes employed by the Post-Impressionists…The appropriation of formalism was achieved within the bounds of realism…”1

Critics noted that subject matter had lost much of its importance; artists were thought to be more interested in how they depicted something than in what they depicted. John Singer Sargent’s contributions were criticised for their excessively photographic realism. “Clearly, formalism had a prominent role in the aesthetic discourses that surrounded academic art at the time.” 2

1 ‘1911 Formalism and Naturalism’ by Vassil Vesselinov Yordanov, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769-2018, https://chronicle250.com/
2 ibid.

Date

1 May, 1911
— 7 August, 1911

Venue

Burlington House, Piccadilly

Location

London, England

Exhibition reviews

‘Personal Items.’, Christchurch Press, 3 May 1911, pg 9, “Our Wellington correspondent telegraphs that a cable message has been received from Miss Flora Scales, daughter of Mr G. H. Scales, of the Hutt, stating that she has had a picture hung in the Royal Academy. Miss Scales has only had three years’ tuition in London. Her talent is for animal painting, and her teacher was Mr Frank Calderon. R.A.”

‘Royal Academy Interests’, Otago Daily Times, 8 June 1911, pg 10, “Another picture of New Zealand interest is a small oil painting, "Cattle Mustering in New Zealand," by a young New Zealand artist, Miss Flora Scales. Miss Scales has been studying for about three years under Mr Frank Calderon, and this is her first' Academy acceptance.”

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