A Vocabulary of Images

Work thumb

Views: 545

  • Title: A Vocabulary of Images: Child Art in Australia and the Advocacy of Marianne Seemann
  • Author(s): Berenice Nyland, Maryellen Galbally
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Keywords: Marianne Seemann, Franz Cizek, Child Art, Progressive education
  • Date: September 24, 2020
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-0-949313-70-6
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-210-9
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-211-6
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/978-1-86335-211-6/CGP
  • Citation: Nyland, Berenice, and Maryellen Galbally. 2020. A Vocabulary of Images: Child Art in Australia and the Advocacy of Marianne Seemann. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-211-6/CGP.
  • Extent: 222 pages

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2020, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved


The story of this remarkable woman starts in Vienna, where Marianne Seemann (Mendl) (1897-1967) grew up in a wealthy, artistic family. Interested in dance and painting, Marianne worked with the likes of Grete Wiesenthal, but it was her interest in Child Art that became her life’s work. Marianne Seemann studied in Franz Cizek’s Juvenile Art Class and then became an enthusiastic assistant. In fact, she maintained contact with Cizek until his death in 1946, although by that time they were at opposite ends of the world. Marianne Seemann fled Vienna with her family in 1938. She arrived in Sydney in 1939 and never return to Europe. She loved the Sydney beaches and told her friends not to worry: the coffee and shoes would come. Very quickly Marianne connected with progressive education groups and individuals. The Minister of Education in New South Wales, Clive Evatt, was an early acquaintance. Marianne was involved in the Children’s Art and Craft Movement, the New Education Fellowship, and taught art at the Sydney Nursery Teachers College (SNTC). She was loyal to Professor Cizek’s Child Art principles throughout her working life. Through interviews with family, a former pupil, student accounts from the SNTC archive, and archival research, the authors detail the life and work of Marianne Seemann. In doing so, A Vocabulary of Images also explores the popularity of Child Art and the historical nature of its attraction to many educationalists.