- 1897- 1930
Part of Kidman family fonds
This item is an autograph album owned by Ella Kidman, the third eldest of the Kidman family children. The album was received by Ella Kidman as a Christmas gift in 1897, and soon after, she designed a title page featuring an ink drawing of seagulls flying over the ocean. Her name is featured in the top centre of this title page. The contents of the album include ink drawing and pencil designs by Ella Kidman, often depicting flowers or other plants. These designs often feature deliberately blank spaces and compartments for the addition of signatures and inscriptions. Artwork, inscriptions, and autographs from Ella Kidman’s friends and family are collected in the album. The album features many inkblot signatures—a fad that became popular among students in the late nineteenth century. Notably, Ella Kidman’s autograph album matches the one owned by her older sister, Lilian. The sisters both had artistic abilities, and there are many similarities in their custom page designs; this suggests that they worked collaboratively on their albums. Additionally, Ella and Lilian Kidman had many mutual friends, and their respective autograph albums contain similar entries from their shared connections.