Piece of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital art history donated

On Tuesday 27 November, a beautiful piece of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s 140 year history was returned to its home at the hospital, thanks to a generous donation from the artist’s family and our Foundation via our Arts in Health Program.

The imagery in the original painting by Dorrit Black, the ‘Legend of Creation’, was used to decorate walls of the outpatients department at the original Adelaide Children’s Hospital in the 1940s, to create a welcoming space for children and their families, and especially for Aboriginal children and families, by bringing images of Aboriginal Australia to the fore. Although Dorrit was not of Aboriginal descent, these murals were an early form of public recognition of Aboriginal people and their culture, seen by hundreds of thousands of patients in their formative years.

Members of the Black family joined staff from the WCH Foundation and WCHN Executive at a morning tea to celebrate.

L-R: Emily Collins (WCHN History Curator), Jane Scotcher (CEO, WCH Foundation), Robert and Tania Black (Dorrit Black’s family members), and Phil Robinson (WCHN Executive Director, Corporate Services)

The Black family has a rich history with the hospital, with several members of the family having worked at either the Adelaide Children’s Hospital or Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Robert Black, Dorrit’s nephew said he was pleased to see Dorrit’s work returned to “its proper place”.

The painting is on display in the WCH Executive office, along with images, which highlight how the artwork was displayed in the original hospital.

Dorrit sketch was recently included in one of our Arts in Health exhibition in our History and Heritage Gallery at the hospital (known as the Yellow Heart Gallery). As part of our look back on both our history and that of the hospital over the past 140 years our new exhibition in this gallery titled ‘Greatest Hits – Great images form the first 100 years of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network’, will showcase photos of how your hospital have evolved throughout its history.

Download the WCHF Forgotten Murals Brochure.

For more information on this and other exhibitions across our five gallery spaces, click here.

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