Malvern Artists' Society founded

Malvern Artists' Society was founded on 29 April 1957 by a group of ten artists following a successful exhibition of their work at Malvern Town Hall.

April 29, 1957

First General Meeting held

The first General Meeting was held on 16 July 1957 and an annual subscription was fixed at five shillings. The first President was  Dr C.E.G. Beveridge.

July 16, 1957

First Exhibition held in the Metro Theatre in Malvern

The Society's first exhibition was held at the old Metro Picture Theatre in Malvern from 28 September until 12 October 1957.

28 September, 1957

Exhibitions held in the foyer of the Metro Theatre

From 12 October 1957 until 1971, artworks were continuously exhibited in the foyer of the Metro Theatre, including artists Kenneth Jack, Donald Campbell, Stanley Hammond, Bruce Fletcher (Government appointed artist for the Vietnam War), Dr Beveridge, Anne Graham and Shirley Bourne.

12 October, 1957

First Bargain Sale

In 1960, the first Bargain Sale took place at the Metro Theatre. The Bargain Sale is still a special event at the Society each December.

December, 1960

Life Classes begin

In February 1961, Life Classes were held at the home of Joan Henry in Mercer Road Armadale, and membership quickly rose to forty. Meetings and demonstrations were held in private homes and at the studio of Bruce Fletcher, one of the ten Foundation Members of the Society.

February, 1961

Move to High Street

In January 1962, the Society rented a large room and kitchen at 1268 High Street Malvern for five pounds a week.

January, 1962

Memberships rise, exhibitions in the Royal Arcade

By 1966 membership had risen to over 100, and exhibitions were held in, amongst other places, the Royal Arcade in Melbourne.


Exhibition becomes an annual event

In 1967, exhibitions in the Royal Arcade  became an annual event and part of the Moomba celebrations.


Malvern Artists' Society purchases High Street

In January 1970, the  Society purchased 1297 High Street Malvern, on the comer of Eva Street, the present address of the Society.

January, 1970

Building Extension

The existing building was extended to provide a purpose built Studio for art classes. 

The Studio, now with wonderful facilities, provides Stonnington and environs with first class teachers and classes in all mediums.


Fiftieth Anniversary

The Society celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary in 2007, a time for reflection, gratitude, planning, and cake.


Early Members

don james

Don is a Melbourne born artist who has an abiding interest in Tonal Impressionism which he developed whilst being taught by Shirley Bourne and Alan Martin and studying the works of Max Meldrum. He has held many one-man exhibitions, the last in 1996. Don paints still lifes, portraits, landscapes and flower studies. He is a former councillor of the Victorian Artists' Society.

Don James

Oil Painter


A former President of Malvern Artists' Society, Joan was born in New South Wales and is a realist watercolour painter. She is a former member and councillor of the Victorian Artists' Society, a past President of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, and also a member of the Watercolour Society of Victoria. Joan was made a Life Member of the Malvern Artist Society in 2008.

Joan Richard

Watercolour Painter


Angela is a Melbourne-born artist and was a member of the 'Seven Painters' group in the 1970s. She is a former councillor of the Victorian Artists' Society and a committee member of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters. Angela is a former winner of the Alice Bale Travelling Scholarship and in 1990, by invitation, joined the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society.

Angela Abbot

Oil Painter

Maggie metcalf_1

Born in Benalla, Margaret is a member of the Watercolour Society of Victoria and has won many major watercolour awards. Margaret has been a member of Malvern Artists' Society since 1979 and since then has held at least one solo exhibition or participated in a group exhibition every year.

Margaret Metcalf

Watercolour Painter

carmel8 no border

Carmel is a talented painter who has received various awards and commendations for work exhibited in Melbourne and Victorian country areas. She has held several solo exhibitions, including at Malvern Artists' Society. Her influences include Pollock, Kline and De Kooning. She has a refreshingly different approach to painting.

Carmel Mahoney

Oil Painter

Maggie McGrath

Born in England, Maggie describes herself as an expressionist painter who only commenced painting in watercolor in 1985. Her use of vibrant colour and loose fresh work has earned her recognition and many commendations from judges. Her work has been acquired throughout Australia and overseas. She is a member both of the Victorian Artists' Society and the Malvern Artists' Society.

Maggie McGrath

Watercolour Painter

Founding Members