'The Home' magazine, cover by Ellen Gray
Sydney Ure Smith launched 'The Home' magazine in February 1920 as a monthly publication for upper middle-class Australian housewives. Its articles and artwork reflected the dawn of modernism in Australia with a focus on holiday destinations, home decorating, fashion, cosmetics, cultural events and other amusements of the independent and modern woman. Its excellence in content and printing propelled it into the league of international magazines, such as 'Harper's Bazaar', 'Vogue' and 'Vanity Fair', and distinguished it from all other Australian publications.
Artist Ellen Gray contributed the elegant cover to the November 1933 edition of 'The Home' magazine illustrating a woman in evening attire. It combines the vivid colours, geometric shapes and sharp angles that are characteristic of modern design. Gray also placed particular emphasis on the female face as one that is poised and intelligent. Similar imagery abounded in 1930s magazines, expressing a revolution in which many women relinquished the androgynous look of the 1920s and became increasingly active, overtly feminine and independent.