Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born at Terara in the Shoalhaven District of NSW on 11 August 1859, died on 16 February 1961 in Lindfield, Sydney at the age of 101.
Botanical artist. Contributed to The Wild Flowers of New South Wales by William Baeuerlen and Gertrude Lovegrove (1891)
published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Eldest daughter of William Makepeace Lovegrove, who moved to the Shoalhaven area initially to set up the Illawarra Steamship Company and later served in various government positions including Clerk of Petty Sessions and Mayor, and Melanie Isabella de Mestre. The Lovegroves were wealthy, well liked and actively involved in the affairs of the district. Her father painted landscapes which the newspaper reviewer of one exhibition observed "evince artistic skill of no mean ability".
In 1888 the family moved to Marrickville, Sydney. It was at Marrickville that Gertrude might have met her future husband, Wilfred Blacket, a successful barrister. They married when both were 34 years old.
Little is known about how she came to illustrate The Wild Flowers of New South Wales under the joint authorship of William Baeuerlen and Gertrude Lovegrove. Only one volume was ever published in 1891. It was intended to publish 25 parts. In 2007 all the Lovegrove paintings for the remaining parts were held in specially made boxes by Berkelouw Book Sellers, Berrima, NSW. It is understood they had remained with the Blacket family until after Gertrude's death in 1961.
In June 2013, with support from the Foundation for the Historic Houses Trust of NSW the collection of 52 original watercolours was aquired by the Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection managed by the Trust.
An article on the publication of this work by Megan Martin in 2013 was published in the journal Australiana August 2013 under the title: 'The Cambewarra connection: William Bauerlen, Gertrude Lovegrove and the Wild Flowers of New South Wales'.
Source: H.Hewson Australia - 300 Years of Botanical Illustration (1999);
Olsen, Penny (2013) Collecting Ladies: Ferdinand von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists, NLA Publishing;
pers com Murray Fagg re Berkelouw Book Sellers (photo: M.Fagg);
Martin, Megan (2013) 'The Cambewarra connection: William Bauerlen, Gertrude Lovegrove and the Wild Flowers of New South Wales', Australiana, Aug 2013.
Example of artwork:
Link to digitised album of watercolours at State Library of NSW: http://184.108.40.206/album/albumView.aspx?acmsID=845223&itemID=1008822
Link to digitised first and only volume of The Wildflowers of New South Wales (1991): http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-f6806a