• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3782

Paterson, Elizabeth Deans (Betty)

(1895 – 1970) Betty Paterson: Self Portrait
  • Born 18 March, 1895, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Died 31 December, 1970
  • Occupation Cartoonist, Illustrator, Journalist


Betty Paterson and her sister Esther were prodigies born into the elite of Melbourne’s bohemian set. Father (Hugh) and uncle (John Ford) were both artists and her first playmates were her neighbours, the children of Frederick McCubbin.

Art impinged upon every facet of her life throughout its entire course. Her Art Deco cartoons were published regularly in magazines such as The Bulletin and Aussie. Her illustrated interpretations of ‘permissive’ 1920s society resonated with those she depicted – she became artist-by-appointment to the flappers.

Betty Paterson married twice, and had one child, a daughter, Barbara.


  • 1920 - 1940
  • 1952 - 1970

    Married the painter Albion Wiltshire

  • 1923 - 1970

    Kenneth Newman (later divorced)

  • 1966 - 1966

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Esther Paterson interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Betty Paterson, portrait artist, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Sister
    • Paterson, Esther (1892 - 1971)