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Lady Viola Tait collection [picture]
Bib ID 3075714
Format PicturePicture, OnlineOnline
Online Versions
Description 1850-1976 
ca. 703 photographs ; 37.5 x 30 cm. or smaller. 
1 album (177 photographs) : b&w. ; album 26.5 x 36 cm. 
1 drawing : pen & ink : 20.6 x 26 cm. 
1 poster : col. ; 97.2 x 36 cm. 

Collection of personal photographs and photographs of tours and productions including: Bitter Sweet, The Corn is Green, The Dancing Years, Dearest Enemy, The Desert Song, The Maid of the Mountains, St. Joan, Song of Norway, South Pacific, Spring Cleaning, The Student Prince, Sweet Nell of Old Drury, Whirled into Happiness, White Horse Inn, and Wildflower. There are also photographic reproductions of drawings of costumes and stage settings for various Gilbert & Sullivan productions. The album, containing personal photographs and photographs taken during production tours, is believed to be originally owned by Scott Griffiths.

Performers and theatrical identities include: Marion Anderson, Herbert Browne, Clara Butt, Eric (Mick) Edgley & Clem Dawe, Madge Elliott and Cyril Ritchard, John Farrell, Gracie Fields, Pauline Frederick, Albert Frith, Daisy Kennedy, Harry Lauder, John McCallum, Gladys Moncrieff, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Non Nicol, Nellie Stewart, Frank Tait, Viola Tait, John Charles Thomas and Lawrence Tibbett. Dancers include: Maude Amery, Anna Pavlova, the Borovansky Ballet Co., Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes.


Lady Tait was born Viola Hogg in Pressburg, Austria-Hungary, of Scottish parents. She studied at the Scottish National Academy of Music and under Francis Harford. She performed with the Carl Rosa Opera Company and then with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as a principal soprano, under the name Viola Wilson. In 1939 she joined the Australian Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company as a principal for a tour of Australia and New Zealand. In 1941 she married Frank (later Sir Frank) Tait, managing director of J.C. Williamson Ltd. After retiring from the stage in 1946 she remained active in the theatre in many ways. She supported emerging talent, researched and collected in the field of theatre history, wrote 2 books, and was a patron of the arts.


Title from accompanying documentation, see files 203/20/00078 and NLA 05/1678.

Some of the photographs are cabinet cards or postcards.

Also available online

Related Material Papers of the Tait family; Located at; National Library of Australia Manuscript collection MS 309. 
Subjects Tait, Viola, 1911-2002 -- Photograph collections.  |  J.C. Williamson (Firm) -- Photographs.  |  Theater -- Australia -- Photographs.  |  Actors -- Australia -- Portraits.  |  Entertainers -- Australia -- Portraits.
Other authors/contributors J.C. Williamson (Firm)

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Details Collect From
PIC/8745/1-587 LOC Albums 1087/5-13, Albums 1087/15-16 Special Collections Reading Room
PIC/8745/AMO/1-PIC/8745/YOU/2 LOC Albums 1087/1-4, Album 1087/14 Special Collections Reading Room

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