Natalie Wilson has written: "William Dobell [previously covered in these columns], travelled with close friends Frank and Thelma Clune and the writer Colin Simpson to Nondugl near Mount Hagen in the Central Highlands in 1949 as guests of the zoologist and philanthropist Sir Edward Hallstrom.
"Margaret Olley [who has just died in Sydney at the age of 88], made her first excursion to PNG in 1954, when she spent time with Cecil Abel at Kwato.
"Later, between 1967 and 1968, she made three further trips to PNG and many of her still life paintings are filled with objects which she collected at that time."[ Natalie Wilson, 'Focus on Oceanic Art', LOOK, AGS, Sydney, October 2009, pg. 32-33]
She also spent some weeks in Angoram, and Peter Johnson, in a letter to former kiap and artist John Pasquarelli, has recalled that visit:
I know you were quite close friends with Margaret, and am sure you are, as I am, saddened by the news today of her death.
I am in your debt for causing me the pleasure of hosting her at Angoram for several weeks, she was a delight to know and a good cook too!
I was really a dumb young bloke then, as I wouldn’t sit for her – in too much of a hurry to get to the late lamented Angoram Club.
I never saw her again, but closely missed her on several occasions when she had left notes for me – it was always just too late!
I took the liberty of writing to her with a bit of a whinge and she sent me a copy of her book with the passage crossed out and the note:“No, I stayed with my friend, Peter Johnson.” Written in, in her own hand. This is now something to treasure!
Images: (top) Mt Hagen Woman, oil on board; (lower) Susana of Angoram, oil on board, 1968