Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born on 19 March 1866 at Litchfield Ashe, Southampton, England; died Claremont, WA on 21 April 1926.
Annie was the second of nine children of Richard Whistler, farmer, and his wife Sarah Mills, Richard was a distant relation of the artist James McNeil Whistler. Her father died in 1887 and with her mother and siblings she migrated to Victoria in the Britannia in 1890. Also on the ship was Charles Dorrington, the bailiff who had come to manage the farm after her father's death.
Charles and Annie married in St Alban's Church of England, Armadale, Melbourne, on 18 April 1892. The couple moved to Western Australia in 1895. They lived at Fremantle in 1897, and moved to Perth next year. Until 1914 Charles was the manager of the Swan River Shipping Co. With no children, Annie's life focussed on her art. She had begun to paint wildflowers and by 1901 had completed fifty-four, which she offered to sell to Bernard Woodward, director of the Western Australian Museum and Art Gallery. Her friend Alice Moore had picked many of the flowers in Kings Park and was given paintings in return. Annie taught painting privately from her home in 1902-06.
Dorrington exhibited watercolours in the Western Australian pavilion at the Paris (1900) and Glasgow (1902) international exhibitions. She also showed at the St Louis International Exposition (1904) in Missouri, United States of America, and some fifty of her paintings were included in the Franco-British Exhibition, London (1908).
She also shared the prize in the competition to design of the Australian flag in 1901, submitting her entry under the pseudonym 'Ahasuerus'.
Suffering bouts of depression, in 1908 Annie was admitted to the Claremont Mental Hospital for a few months treatment. In 1914 the couple moved to Serpentine where Charles farmed and grew fruit until 1922. He was also shire clerk of the Serpentine Jarrahdale Roads Board at Mundijong. In 1918 Annie had again been admitted to Claremont hospital. She died there of cancer on 21 April 1926.
Examples of her art:
Source: Extracted from: Australian Dictionary of Biography website: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dorrington-annie-12890
Portrait Photo: Extracted from: http://www.mcb.wa.gov.au/our-cemeteries/karrakatta-cemetery/historical-walk-trails/annie-dorrington