Mary Morton Allport

Mary Morton Allport (17 May 1806 – 10 June 1895)[1] was an English Australian artist who is thought to be Australia's first colonial professional female artist, lithographer, etcher and engraver.[2][3] Allport painted landscapes and miniature portraits.[4]


Born on 17 May 1806 in Birmingham, England, Mary Morton Chapman married Joseph Allport on 20 December 1826. Mary, Joseph and their son Morton emigrated to Australia in 1831.

The Allports arrived in Van Diemens Land in December 1831 via the Platina.[5]

As early as 1832, she advertised[6] that she would paint miniatures on request[7] and is known to have given art lessons to her children and others.[8]

Allport died on 10 June 1895 at her home 'Aldridge Lodge' in Tasmania, Australia, aged 88.[9] She is buried at Queenborough Cemetery, Hobart.[10]

Works of art

According to online catalogues, artworks attributed to Mary Morton Allport can be found in the collections of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Australia.


The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts in Hobart, Tasmania commemorates the Allport family's contribution to Tasmanian history and culture.


  1. "Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) - 11 Jun 1895". Trove. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  2. "Mary Morton Allport". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  3. Norton, Leonie (1 January 2009). Women of Flowers: Botanical Art in Australia from the 1830s to the 1960s. National Library Australia. ISBN 9780642276834.
  4. Henderson, Ian (1 January 2000). "Eyeing the lady's hand: The concealed politics of Mary Morton Allport's colonial vision". Journal of Australian Studies. 24 (66): 103–115. doi:10.1080/14443050009387616. ISSN 1444-3058.
  5. Allport, Henry. "Allport, Joseph (1800–1877)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  6. "Classified Advertising - The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) - 20 Jul 1832". Trove. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  7. "Who were the Allports?". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  8. Phipps, J. "Allport, Mary Morton - botanical illustrator". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  9. "Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) - 11 Jun 1895". Trove. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  10. "Mary Morton Allport biography at Design and Art Australia Online". Retrieved 28 March 2017.

See also

List of Australian botanical illustrators

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