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History Hub | Brenda Holland


Brenda Violet May Holland

About the Artist

Brenda Holland was born in Perth on 25th August 1900 to Archie Holland and his wife May née Pugh. During her early childhood, the family lived in Perth, Bunbury,  Northam and Geraldton, where her father followed his employment as a brewer. When Brenda was 10 years old, the family moved to Albany. Archie, along with a partner, established the "Holland Long Lion Brewery" on Middleton Road.

Brenda started her schooling in Geraldton, on arriving in Albany, she attended the local Convent and then the State School until she was 16. Her artistic talent was apparent during her school years; she later became a student of Henry Van Raalte in Perth during the 1930s. She attended art school for two years in Melbourne at the Gallery of Victoria. After completing the course, she spent a year at Sydney Technical College pursuing her interest in portraiture.

On returning to Albany in 1939, Brenda Holland set up an art studio in the family home on Aberdeen Street and took on private pupils. In this interview, she recalls memories of visits to her father's brewery and her family's lifestyle in Albany. She talks about her childhood and later private art teaching. She also recalls growing up in Albany during World War I.

Miss Holland recalls some of the interesting personalities of Albany in the early decades of the century, with mention of the several Aboriginal identities who sat for her. These portraits have now been donated to the Albany Historical Society. Miss Holland entered two portraits of Aboriginal sitters in the 1930 Archibald Prize. Nothing is known of the individuals in the portraits she entered.

Miss Holland and her sister maintain their attractive home and garden at 91 and 90. They gain pleasure from the native birds and neighbourhood pets. Miss Holland passed away on the 9th of March 1995, aged 94.

Works by this artist


By featuring a variety of artwork from our Collections including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork, we wish to represent and acknowledge the diversity of our users and be respectful of the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures throughout Australia.  

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