Downing, Brownie. Viola Edith (Brownie) Downing, author, artist, illustrator and ceramics decorator was born at Manly, Sydney in 1924, and grew up in a home surrounded by bushland, which inspired her to take an interest in drawing from a young age.

She drew children, small animals flowers and trees from her surrounds, and developed an interest in Aboriginal culture from her father.

After leaving school she studied at Sydney Technical Art School and then worked as a commercial artist, drawing children's fashion in the early 1940s.

After World War II she studied at Julian Ashton's art school and became a full time artist selling both originals and prints throughout Australia. Her work extended to designs for Christmas cards, and pottery decoration. One of her enduring legacies is the compelling naïve charm of the Aboriginal characters decorating ceramic items ranging from porcelain dishes and wall plaques to miniature tea sets.

In the 1960s she turned her hand to writing for children, and her first book "Tinka and His Friends", sold 60,000 copies and won The Daily Telegraph Children's Book of the Year Award. more...

These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Brownie Downing New South Wales, circa 1960, two porcelain dishes each transfer printed with an Indigenous child 15.5 cm diameter.

Brownie Downing New South Wales, circa 1956, ten porcelain dishes each decorated with scenes of Indigenous daily life 10 cm diameter.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, six porcelain dishes each transfer printed with Indigenous children 10 cm diameter.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, porcelain wall plaque moulded as an Aboriginal baby asleep in a seed pod stamped Registered design No. 35057 Brownie Downing 16 cm high.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, porcelain wall plaque moulded as an Aboriginal boy with a kookaburra perched atop his head and a koala clinging to his back 17.5 cm high.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, eight small porcelain dishes transfer printed with various images including aboriginal children koalas and kangaroos three with a stamped factory mark 10 cm diameter.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, two porcelain wall plaques moulded as frolicking Aboriginal children one with a fishing rod and two fish the other with a bunch of flowers the largest 16 cm high.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, porcelain wall plaque modelled as an Aboriginal girl holding a bird 14 cm high.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, six porcelain dishes each transfer printed with an Indigenous child 10 cm diameter.

Brownie Downing, New South Wales, four porcelain beakers each inscribed Katoomba and blue Mountains Kennel club dated 1956 and transfer printed with various scenes depicting Aborigines 10 cm high.

Two Brownie Downing medium plaques, Piccaninny riding black swan and Piccaninny riding kangaroo (hairline to same.). Diameter 15.5 cm

Brownie Downing wall plate, featuring a piccaninny showing Sydney Harbour Bridge to a koala and a wallaby

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