The oil painting of the jetty at Second Valley measures 430 x 330 mm. It is signed LHS by G.F. (Gertrude Florence) Yeates and dates from after 1911, because that was the date the jetty was extended, as per this painting. Images on the next page from the State Library show the old jetty as it was in 1904 and the new extended one which was opened in 1911.
The rear of the painting has two inscriptions:
"Painted by Miss Gertrude Yeates
one of the pioneering families"
"Second Valley 59
where One and All original
sail ship and others
loaded wheat from the
The Yeates painting shows a stormy day at the jetty, with the cliffs shrouded in mist and just a hint of sunshine. The green on the hill- top also suggests it is winter. Unless the painting was done on a stormy day in the first fortnight of 1959, which is unlikely, the 59 refers to Gertrude's year of demise rather than the painting's date (she died 19th January 1959).
The image of the jetty today shows not much has changed: there is more guard rail and electric light, and the track with its grain carriages is gone, but the scene remains the same. Yeates has clearly benefited from some art instruction and her painting shows competent treatment of the subject matter. Art classes were a popular diversion for the upper middle class Adelaidians at the turn of the century and women were encouraged to attend. The date of the work appears to be about 1920 or so, based on the picture's style, frame and framing technique.
On the left a photo the jetty from 1904 and right one from 1911 after the extension of the jetty at Second Valley.
Gertrude Florence Yeates was a member of an old pioneering family from the south coast (Fleurieu Peninsula). She was the daughter of George Barr Yeates, who arrived in South Australia with his father John Luther Yeates, and the rest of the family on January 22, 1839, aboard the "Bardaster" from England. Her mother was Louisa Rebecca Powell, daughter of Thos. Wm. Powell who had arrived in SA on 4 April 1849 in the "Sir Charles Forbes". The above information, from a book on the Yeates family by George C Morphett in 1942, reflects the colonial obsession with pedigree. Miss Yeates was born in Norwood on the 6th September 1865 and died on the 19th January 1959. She is buried in the Anglican cemetery at Prospect, South Australia.
The painting was purchased from a private estate in Torrens Park in May 2013. It is in very good condition. See also our catalogue.