Esther Paterson (1896-1971)
The Yellow Gloves (also known as Portrait of Betty Paterson) 1938
oil on board
75.7 x 63.5 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1939
Sponsored by The Packsaddle Fundraising Group in 2015 for the Adopt An Art Program


Born 1896, Carlton, Victoria. Died 1971, Middle Park, Victoria.

Born into an artistic family, Esther Paterson entered at the National Gallery of Victoria School in 1907, its youngest student at only 13 years of age, and graduated at the head of the painting class in December 1912. 

Best known for her street-scenes and landscapes, Paterson also worked as a commercial artist in book-illustration and cartoons. Her first book of sketches, Aussie Girls, was published in 1918 and featured a military theme and humour throughout. 

Perhaps influenced by her husband George Hermon Gill who was a mariner, journalist, naval officer and war historian, Paterson produced a number of portraits of uniformed and civilian officers, many of which were reproduced in journals and exhibited at the Australian War Memorial. 

Paterson was a council-member of the Victorian Artists Society (1954-68), a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London (1949), and president of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors (1966). A portrait of Paterson by W. B. McInnes, titled Silk and lace, was awarded the Archibald Prize in 1926.

The Yellow Gloves, 1938, is a portrait of the artist’s younger sister Betty, an artist, children’s book author and talented musician who trained at the Marshall Hall Conservatorium.