Significant Tasmanian Women icon

(1860 - 1955)

Louisa Jane Swan was born in Hobart and educated at the Proprietary Ladies College. Louisa also studied at the Hobart Technical College during the years of 1894-1895, 1897 and 1899.

A landscape painter and enamellist who, with Mabel Hookey and Blanche Murphy, set up the Hobart based Art Society in 1884 when she was just 24 years old. She was also a founding member of the Launceston Drawing Club, which later became the Launceston Art Society. Louisa herself gave lessons in the art of drawing and painting from 1897-1899.

She exhibited her art widely with the both the Launceston and Tasmanian Art Societies from 1893 to 1949. Her work was also shown at the Victorian Art Society Exhibition in 1901 and again in the Sesquicentennial Art Exhibition 1804-1954, at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Louisa Swan was also fundamental in the formation of the Tasmanian Red Cross and was also closely associated with the Liberal Party. With her passing her contribution to the Liberal Party was recognised in an article in the Hobart Mercury on 2 August 1955 "Early Liberal dies at 95". Louisa Swan died in Hobart on the 30th July 1955 at the age of 95.


Backhouse, S., Tasmanian Artists of the Twentieth Century: painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers 1900-1985, Hobart: Pandani Press, 1988

Launceston Art Society, Retrospect 1891-1983

Special thanks to Megan Hamilton (Louisa's niece) for her help.

This entry was researched and written by Amanda Spaulding, B.A.

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