Monty & Stella

Australasians Who Count in London and Who Counts in Western Australia, a book by Mrs Leonard W. Matters. Pages 74 and 75.

Refers to Arnesby Brown's comment about Monty's 'Twilight' as "the most clever of any young artist's work he had seen, and the most promising". Also refers to portraits of C.W. Pearsall, Lady Moore, Mrs. Shadwell Clarke and Mrs. Herbert Bailey and Children. Refers to portraits by Stella of Mrs. Rooth, Miss Clarke, Mrs. Henry Dixon, Mr. Ronald Keep's daughter and Mrs. Eaton's son.

10 September, The West Australian

"West Australian Society of Arts Annual Exhibition" describes the 21st Exhibition at St. George's House, St Goerge's terrace opened by Sir Edward Stone. The article describes Monty's 'Twilight Chelsea' as "a diminutive poem in blue". It comments that "Mrs. Marks has the miniature section to herself" and her 21 portraits are "a feature of the exhibition". "The portraits of the two small daughters of Mr. J. A. Rolland and of the son of the president of the Society [Sir Winthrop Hackett] are delightful in their combination of daintiness and strength". "'Girl in White', 'Blue and Silver' and the charming 'Interior of a Cottage' may be specially admired". 


month?, West Australian

"Australian Artists and Their Art" interviews Monty on his schooling in Melbourne, Paris and London and his views on art. The article refers to Monty meeting in London and learning from William Orpen A.R.A., Solomon J. Solomon R.A. and Arnesby Brown R.A. and also to fellow Australians "who have done remarkably well" in London and Paris such as George Lambert, John Longstaff, Emanuel Phillips Fox, George Coates, Arthur Streeton and Will Dyson.



11 February, Evening Sun

The article by Robert J. Cole comments "though the artist came from Australia she is a good enough New Yorker, so that we can claim our share in the honor of her recent election to the Royal Society of Miniature Painters. But neither princesses nor royal societies confer on her the distinction that marks her portraits of her husband, 'Maud Allan' and 'Cherniavsky'".

5 November, The Rochester Herald

"Mainly About People. Work of English* Painter" features pictures of Stella's portrait miniature of Princess Patricia and her sketch of Mischa Levistki, the pianist. It refers to "the famous English* miniature painter who is now in Rochester" and that she is very involved with raising money at the Allied Bazaars in New York and Boston.
[*note from Anthony Pettifer, obviously should have read "Australian painter"]

10 December, The Detroit Free Press

The article states Stella is "here" to paint a portrait miniature of Mrs. Fred T. Moran and others. It also refers to 30,000 copies the Princess Patricia portrait miniature being sold "so far" at Allied bazaar events for the Canadian Red Cross.

? unknown American press cutting

"Many Nations, Many Notions, Grace the Allied Bazaar" includes the following: "just around the corner.....is the British-American, the Canadian, booth, and right in the centre of it the face of Princess Patricia of Connaught smiles out from a beautiful ivory miniature. Heaped about it are.....color prints of the lovely thing, some of them autographed by the Princess, and they are being sold by Mrs. Montagu Marks, the pretty little Australian artist who was commissioned to paint Canada's beloved "Princess Pat". All this week you may buy them and so give your mite towards helping brave Canadian soldiers."

December, Colour pages 178-179

The piece states the following: "in her miniatures Stella Lewis Marks has a feeling for colour, much more than is to be seen in the majority of such work. Throughout her work there is the strength of the oil painting without losing those qualities characteristic of the miniature"; she is "the youngest member of the Royal Society of Miniaturists*"; she is also "a member of Association of Women Painters and Sculptors"; she arrived in New York in December 1915**;  in one year she has "exhibited extensively throughout the United States", including the National Academy of Design, the New York Water Colour Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Alliance of America, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, the St. Louis Art Museum, "and at Los Angeles and San Francisco"; "her recent portrait of Her Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught is in the possession of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, and one hundred thousand reproductions by the three-colour process have been printed and sold throughout Canada in aid of the Canadian Red Cross. Princess Patricia considers this miniature to be the best existing portrait of her"; [during her year in America other] "important miniatures...include 'Lady Bartlett, 'Justice Rooth', 'James Hardie Barr', 'Miss Ann Murdock', 'Maud Allan', 'Jan Cherniavsky' and 'various members of the Studebaker family'.
[*note from Anthony Pettifer: I believe the correct name at the time was the Royal Miniature Society and at that time Stella was an associate member, hence A.R.M.S. ** actually she arrived in August 1914.]

? unknown press cutting (possibly the Sun/Evening Sun?) assumed date 1916

Studio and Gallery. Franco American Modernists. Miniatures at the Academy. (by Robert J. Cole) includes the following commentary: "the Academy's miniature cases are unusually well worth looking at. More and more these painters with pointed brush get life and largeness into their work. Sometimes they break away from old traditions and sometimes they infuse them with a fresh delight, as Stella Lewis Marks has done in her irresistibly joyful self-portrait". 

? unknown Rochester press cutting, assumed date 1916

"Mrs Montagu Marks" features a profile photograph of Stella by the Morrall-Hoole studio. It refers to her miniatures winning her "an enviable reputation in the artistic world" and that in Rochester she has painted "Mrs. Emmett Finucane, the Misses Mahon, the last granddaughters of Mr. Thomas Finucane". She has an exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery.  

? unknown press cutting, assumed date 1916

Extracts from a interview where Stella describes in her own words how she became convinced to become a portrait miniaturist and her feelings about this field of art. She refers to her being persuaded to try and paint a miniature. Then "all my friends told me my technique was just the thing for miniatures, and urged me to keep it up. However, I had the prevalent idea that this was rather unimportant work and the great painters looked down on it. Still I was wise enough to go to The Wallace Collection and study the miniatures there and also in other galleries. Then I read everything I could find on the subject and discovered the wonderful possibilities this particular field offered. And, while I love to paint the large portraits in oils as much as ever, I am enjoying the miniatures more and more all the time. I realise that the field is unlimited, that each one adds something different to the building up of a great art. One of the most encouraging things I have noticed since I have been in New York is the way people crowded that room where a famous collection of miniatures was exhibited for some time. What I am hoping will happen soon is that the art critics will cease to add casually to their criticisms of exhibitions the remark 'a few miniatures were also shown,' and give these a place that they deserve in the field of art. I am wondering if the reason for the present attitude here is that people in general do not realise their importance, or because the standard of today is not yet high enough".



3 March, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston

"The Return of the Miniature" features a picture of Stella's portrait miniature of Princess Patricia of Connaught. The article was written by Stella Marks on the differences and similarities between large portraits and portrait miniatures and on her technical and aesthetic approach. "A good miniature should have all the strength and art of a good oil portrait, only on a smaller scale..."

8 May, The Detroit Free Press

Social comment: visiting Sir Thomas and Lady White and being entertained in Ottawa by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Now painting portrait miniatures in Detroit.

Monty & Stella

month?, The Evening Sun (Friday...)

"With an Aviator in the Family a Women Gets So Nervous She's Just about Ready to Fly!" features picture of the following portrait miniatures: 'Marjorie, Daughter of John Weeks of N.Y.'; 'Major Arthur M. Waitt'; 'Princess Patricia of Connaught'; 'Cadet Samuel M. Lewis R.E.' and a photograph of Stella. The article states, "Mrs. Marks is, in spite of her youth, one of the best known miniature painters now in this country and since her husband enlisted last July she has made the rather astonishing record of painting a miniature a week for every single week...". It is evident she has thrown herself into her work and "painting better than I ever did before in my life, too." The article reveals she "paints to please her husband" even though he cannot see her work. She lays bare her feelings and then recounts a most romantic letter Monty wrote to her about a dream he had: he had flow his plan to a remote cottage and found her there. The war was over and they would fly away together....." But, the war was not yet over and he was not home.




23 March, The Pittsburgh Sun

"Noted Painter of Miniatures Talks of "Princess Pat"" features a picture of the portrait miniature of Princess Patricia of Connaught and a photograph of Stella. The article refers to 20,000 copies of the miniature being sold for the benefit of the Canadian Red Cross and that Princess Patricia sent a copy of the miniature to the next-of-kin of each fallen member of her own Regiment. It also refers to the fact that Princess Patricia is herself an artist and that Stella is the "youngest Associate Member of the Royal Miniature Society in England and the second Australian to be selected to its membership". Other portrait miniatures referenced in the article that are "on exhibition at Grogan's": '1830', "a delicate portrait of a girl in early Victorian costume"; 'Barbara'; 'Unfinished Study'; 'Mrs. Belmont Tiffany', "credited with having formed the American Red Cross."

31 March, The New York Times Magazine

"Miniatures at Academy" references Stella's portrait miniature, 'Cadet S.M. Lewis' and her "water color technique."



20 August, Evening Post

month?, a Japanese Newspaper

?, New York, Thursday (unknown press cutting)

"Only One Plumb Blossom Lady Could She Paint" by Fanny Ferbstein features a picture of a self-portrait miniature by Stella and refers to her experience in Japan. Stella explains the culture and reticence of all but one local Japanese lady to be painted. The portrait was painted in secret and Stella said she would only reveal the sitters name and take a photograph of it after the lady and her husband visits America next year and if they gave permission.


April, page 427 (New York publication unknown)

Features a picture of the portrait miniature 'Estelle Winwood', "which reveals the subtle comedienne who contributed so much this season to "The Circle" and to "Madame Pierre".



24 November, The Pittsburgh Gazette Times



11 January, The Sun

"Famous Miniaturist Mrs. M. Marks Here. Australian's Success" features a photograph of Stella and states "a Melbourne girl that has made a name for herself as a painter of miniatures" arrived yesterday in Australia after an absence of eleven years. The article mentions she has painted the Vanderbilts, the Belmonts and eight members of the Studebaker family as well as "a beautiful study of the popular Princess Patricia". "She has a gift for portraiture, and a flair for colour which lifts her work into the first rank". It also points out that "she is one of the three women members of the Royal Miniature Society, of whom Bess Norris Tait, the first women member, is also an Australian" and "the third, Mrs. Gayer Phipps (Rose Dakin) is an Englishwomen who has made her home in Melbourne".

11 January, The Herald

"Paints Miniatures. Mrs. Marks Arrives from America" is a similar article to The Sun (above)

17 January, The Sun

"Portraits in Little" features pictures of portrait miniatures: 'A self-portrait'; 'Princess Patricia of Connaught'; 'Artist daughter, Patricia with her doll'; 'Marjorie Williamson' and 'Maud Allan'. Also a photograph of Stella with her painting box and her daughter, Patricia. The article refers to Stella saying, "I owe all my artistic education to Bernard Hall and McCubbin and I make no claim to any other school. I know of no other art school to equal that of the Melbourne National Gallery - certainly not to better it". It also refers to Stella achieving "greatest fame as a painter of miniatures" but also her use of oils and pencil, "the medium or the sitter does not worry her greatly - the portrait is the thing". The article quotes Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt's remark, "your miniatures are more like Cosway's then any other I have ever seen" and Princess Patricia's remark about Stella's portrait of her, "quite the best thing ever done of me."

23 January, The Australasian

"An Australian Artist. Work in New York" refers to Stella's parents Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Lewis and her study at the Melbourne National Gallery with Bernard Hall and Fred McCubbin. "After the National Gallery course of five years one really requires no more definitive training. It is simply a matter of working for oneself, and seeing everything on the other side of the world." It describes how she traveled to Paris and London with fellow student, Monty, that he shared a flat in Paris with Penleigh Boyd, that she married Monty and how "I was dreadfully homesick all the time and longed for a familiar face or a glimpse of Melbourne". It continues the story of how she and Monty returned to Australia soon after their marriage and held "very successful" exhibitions in Perth and Melbourne. This is followed by Stella recounting the series of fortunate events, starting with the voyage from Britain to Australia in 1913, that led to her being commissioned in 1916 by the Duke of Connaught to paint his daughter, Princess Patricia. The introductions where made by Dame Neille Melba and Lord Richard Nevill. The article also mentions that Sella's studio is now "in the Gladstone Hotel, New York" but "our real home is on Long Island". Stella describes the beauty of Long Island, particularly the trees during the "fall".

23 January, The Herald

Features a picture of Stella by Dickinson-Monteath and commentary

28 January, The Bulletin

The article refers to Stella's praise of Longstaff's picture of Rose Scott: "I know of no other portrait painter except Sargent who has the power to make the personality of his sitter surge out of the canvas."

13 February, The Herald 'Woman's World'

"Tea at the Gallery" refers to Stella as guest of honor at a party given by Bernard Hall. Among guest and old friends were Mr. and Mrs. John Napier Waller, Mrs. W. Montgomery, Mrs. John Tyson, Miss Dora Wilson, Mr. George Bell, Mr. P Newbury, Mr. Louis McCubbin.

16 February, The Herald

"Art Miniatures. Attractive Portraits by Mrs. Marks" (by J.S. MacDonald) references the 22 miniatures on exhibition at the New Gallery, Melbourne, including "some of people well known to Australia and the rest are of individuals [who] are....household names in the United States". Stella attributes her success to her "National Gallery School training and she is emphatic in saying that abroad she has not met its equal, nor encountered an instructor so thorough and enlightened as Mr. Bernard Hall". Her portrait of Princess Patricia is referred to, as is a letter from the Duke of Connaught informing her that the miniature has been added to the family heir-looms. Other portraits referred to from the exhibition include: 'Maud Allan'; 'Mr. Justice McKenna'; 'Lady Maxwell'; 'Mr. Knox Studebaker'; 'Mrs. Madge Carr Cook'; 'A Portrait'; and 'Study'.  

17 February, The Sun

"Work of Stella Marks" (by H.K.) states that "this gifted Australian artist has developed her art to a standard that has established her in the forefront of the world's miniature painters". It refers to her earlier works being "so delicately fine and highly finished....clear cut and fluent" and goes on "(her) more recent work is noticeably broader and freer in treatment, and sparkling with vitality that is only to be had from the spontaneous brush of the master painter."  Earlier works referred to being exhibited at the New Gallery (Melbourne) include: 'Jan Cherniavisky'; 'Maud Allen'; 'Lady Maxwell'; 'Knox Studebaker'; 'Mrs. Madge Carr Cook'. While more recent works at the exhibition include "No 16, a charming titian-haired portrait study" and "several portraits of the artist's own little daughter, Patricia."

17 February, The Argus

"Mrs. Marks' Exhibition" refers to her exhibition at the New Gallery, Melbourne. The article comments on Stella's work having no "hint of niggling or uncertainty" and singles out her portrait of 'Allister (sic) Crowley', "the seated figure....arranged in the official robes of some mysterious cult or sect has a sinister as well as artistic interest". It also references "a young girl with a Madonna Face and early Victorian manner" and "further excellent examples": 'Mr. Justice McKenna'; 'Unfinished Study' of a girl; and Mrs. Madge Carr Cooke.

17 February, The Age

"Art Notes. Miniatures by Stella Lewis Marks" refers to her exhibition at the New Gallery, Melbourne. The article states Stella was a member of the Royal Miniature Society since 1916 and also a member of the American Society of Miniature Painters and talks of the homage she pays to the National Gallery School. It describes the "broad brushwork and convincing colour" of her work and references the following portrait miniatures at the exhibition: 'Maud Allen'; 'Jan Cherniavsky'; 'Miss Marjorie Williamson', "one of the best works exhibited"; 'Mr. Knox Studebaker'; 'Mrs. T. Akoboshi'; 'Mrs. Madge Carr Cooke'; 'Miss Bettie Parker; 'Mrs. Sidney Reilly', describes as "a young Russian bride"; 'Lady Maxwell'; 'Miss Edith Day'; 'Allister (sic) Crowley'; 'Mr. Justice McKenna'; 'A self-portrait'; 'Patricia'; 'Joan'.  

18 February, "Table Talk"

"An Illustrious Australian, Stella Lewis Marks - Famous Miniaturist" features pictures of portrait miniatures: a self portrait painted in 1921; 'Mr. J.H.Barr'; 'Maud Allan' and a photograph of Stella by Vindyck. The article says "her whole career has been romance, her marriage and her rise to fame....".  It quotes how Monty and Stella ended up in New York in 1914 and how she was alone in New York after Monty and her brother went to war. Also how "like all true artists she loves her work and feels it part of herself". "I always say when I am rich enough I would like to buy all my miniatures back". It describes her first major exhibition at the American Society of Miniature Painters where she, an unknown, won critical acclaim and was amazed that a collector bought 'The Girl in White'. It also refers to "the strength and virility of Mrs. Mark's work, shown in the portraits of men". The last half of the article is a detailed description how Stella goes about her work, her use of bold simple strokes and the importance of drawing well.

23 February, The Herald

24 February, The Herald ?

Refers to Felton Bequest's purchase for the National Gallery of the "celebrated dancer" Maud Allen- "a very good portrait" - and other works "now on exhibition" at the New Gallery.

25 February, The Bulletin

The article refers to the New Gallery exhibition and mentions the following works "painted with the surest hand and frankest eye": 'Maud Allen'; 'Jan Cherniavsky'; 'Mrs. T. Akoboshi'; 'Cherniavsky', which "would enlarge into a full-sized picture without loss of spirit, a test the average miniature would fail to survive".

4 March, The Bulletin

Features a photograph of Stella by Dickinson-Monteath studio and remarks that "her work found much favor when shown lately at the New Gallery and several commissions resulted".

? unknown Melbourne press cutting

"One of Our Gallery Students Who Has Made a Career in the Old World" recounts Stella's "second visit to Australia since leaving here in 1911 as Stella Lewis, a Gallery student, to try her luck on the other side." It refers to her New York "studio in Bryant Park Studios" and "home at Setanket, Long Island". Stella says of the National Gallery School, "there is no school in the world to beat it and a student could not have a better foundation". She is also says, "I am full of admiration for Australia and have absolutely made up my mind if I were ever to leave New York I will come back to Melbourne*". The article touches on Stella and Monty's grief at the death of their first daughter after only a few hours of life and their joy at the birth, exactly one year later, on Armistice day 1920 of their second daughter, Patricia. The article then turns to how Stella came to specialise in miniature painting: "Mrs. Marks said it came about in a rather unusual way, as her ambition had always been to do big works and she dreamed of the days when she would paint large portraits". The article explains that Monty and Penleigh Boyd persuaded her to take on a miniature commission that a lady had asked Boyd to do. But he thought it "was not in his line". "As a result she took on the commission and satisfied the lady". It goes on to quote Stella, "I then realised that a miniature could be as important as a portrait, and could hold all the knowledge required in a life sized picture. I then decided to make a study of this branch of art". The article outlines Stella's progress; her initial success in New York at an exhibition of the National Academy of Design, which eventually led her being the only Australian member of the American Society of Miniature Painters, of which she is on the Executive Committee; and how she was discovered by Mr. Alyn Williams (via a miniature worn Mrs. Studebaker when he visited America) and thus became one of only two Australians to be a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters.
* [note from Anthony Pettifer: this did not happen as fate took her on another path, but she was always very proud of her heritage and in old age she longed to return.]



Month?, The Larchmont Times

"Among Professional Folks Here is - Stella Lewis Marks" features a photograph of Stella. The interview states "Larchmont is proud to have one of the most accomplished and best known miniature painters living here". It refers to her study at "The Melbourne National Gallery" and that "she lived formally in New York City, but came here four years ago and settled at Chatsworth Gardens Apartments". "A long time ago at the very beginning of her career" she painted a miniature of Princess Patricia of Connaught "and earnestly prayed that the picture would please the royal family. The father of the princess liked it so well that he notified Mrs. Marks that it was made an heirloom of the royal family, a great honor for it's creator." It goes on to refer to reproductions "for $2 a piece" being sold for the Red Cross in Canada and the USA. "And so when a baby girl was born to the Marks, she was named Patrica". Miniatures Stella says "are nothing more than a smaller edition of regular oil portraits" . "The artist must have a knowledge of portraiture, and then, concentrate the picture to fit a tiny frame". The article comments that her works "delicately colored paintings, which small as they were, seemed life-like enough to speak any minute. There was one of an old, old woman with grey hair and a lined face, and another of a serious-faced man, one of the Studebaker family. Mrs. Marks claimed that was her best. Then there were several of small Patty (sic) from a very tiny baby to her present age, 9." The article goes on to list some of her other works: 'D.C Jackling'; the 'children of Malcom Whiteman'; the actresses 'Ann Murdock' and 'Edith Day'; "Mrs. Layman Rhodes'; and "several children and families in Larchmont among them, 'Christopher Woodcock' and 'Betty McCormick' and the family of 'W.W. Salmon." Commenting of 'Maud Allen", bought by the National Gallery of Melbourne, and Stella's awe that it was exhibited next to "old masters" the article says "Mrs. Marks does not give herself enough credit". The charcoal of 'Micha Levistky' when he was 17 years old and the miniature of 'Judge Ruth' are also referenced. Sella comments that Judge Ruth "was the most nervous sitter I had ever had".       



20 January, New York Sun

Refers to the thirty-third annual exhibition of the American Society of Miniature Painters at Grand Central Art Galleries, displaying 150 miniatures. Alma Hirsig Bliss was awarded the Leventia White Boardman Memorial prize. The list of member artists includes: Lucy M. Stanton and Julie Kahle (in the memorial groups); Maria Judson Strean, President of the Society; William J. Baer; Mabel R. Welch; Elsie Dodge Pattee, Vice-President; Stella Lewis Marks; Grace H. Murray, secretary; Clara Louise Bell; Lydia E. Longacre; Margaret Foote Hawley; Helen Cruikshank Davis; Annie Hurlburt Jackson; Adrianna Tuttle; Laura Coombs Hills and John Bentz".



24 ? The Observer

"Art and Artists. The Society of Miniaturists. A Difficult Art." (by Jan Gordon) observes that in Holbein's time there was no "fence...set up between the small and the big in Art" and is critical that there appears to be one today with no justification. Painting "small" does not means "trivial", but rather "very difficult" and, as a result, rare. Referring to the 41st annual exhibition of Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptures and Gravers, Stella is cited among the members who have "surmounted many of the difficulties with success."

10 November, Buenos Aires Herald

"The Art of the Miniature Painter. Australian Exponent Arrives" features a miniature of 'Pat aged 13' and a photograph of Stella. It notes that "a famous miniature painter is visiting Buenos Aires" and that "she is the wife of the General Manager of United Artists Co. London". Australian by birth she lived for 19 years in the United States before moving to London two years ago "because her husband was transferred there". The article notes she painted nearly 200 miniatures in America, including "some of the best known American families". It references 'Mrs August Belmont', the social leader; 'the Studebakers' of motor fame; 'the Crocker family' of San Francisco; 'Mr. Daniel C. Jackling', known as the "copper kings"; 'the Finucanes' of Rochester N.Y..  It also describes that Stella's portrait of Princess Patricia "was so well liked that it has been made an heirloom ofthe Royal Family". It notes how reproductions of the miniature raised money for the Red Cross and how the Princess sent personally signed copies to the next of kin of those in her regiment who fell in the Great War. It also notes that the miniature was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1931. The article continues that Stella "has painted her daughter in miniature each of the last sixteen years since the child was only six months old. She wants to preserve those fleeting changes of expression that each year brings". Stella believes "a portrait must make people who know the subject feel as if they could almost tell what the lips are going to say". "She can get a better grasp of true expression when [the subjects] talk intermittently. She then watches the expression relax to its natural position bringing out the more subtle lines of the face. That is one reason why critics comment that she catches the most natural poses". The article describes how Stella's passion for painting started "as early as she could remember" and as a young student at the Melbourne National Gallery School....."she used to come home and continue painting until neighbours would call her parents to find out if anyone were ill because the upstairs lights were on most of the night". It states that two years ago Stella was invited to become President of the American Miniature Painters' Society, "which was a very significant honour considering the fact that Mrs. Marks is still a British subject. She had to decline because she was leaving for England".   The article ends by referring to sketches she has done recently of the film actors Leslie Banks and Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and that "she has just completed a miniature of Mrs. A.W. Kelly the wife of the Vice-President of United Artists", with whom she is visiting Buenos Aires".

? November, Buenos Aires Herald - Sunday Pictorial Supplement

Features a full length photograph of Stella with the caption "Mrs. S. L. Marks, on arrival by the Almanzora."