City of South Perth's May and Herbert Gibbs Art Collection


May Gibbs, mother of the Gum-Nut Babies and the iconic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie lived much of her early life in South Perth in a charming home

The Dune, on the corner of Harper Terrace and Suburban Road (now Mill Point Road). Born in England in 1877 at the age of four May travelled with her Mother and brother (second brother born just before arrival in Adelaide) to join her father Herbert and uncle George who had travelled out to South Australia some months earlier. Following an event filled four years in South Australia the Gibbs family moved to Harvey in Western Australia in 1885

Two wonderful years were spent in Harvey before Herbert and Cecie moved their family to Perth. One year at Butler's Swamp (now Lake Claremont) and a year in Perth before settling in South Perth in 1888/9. Ten years before the Windsor Hotel and the Zoo were established South Perth was a very quiet, picturesque place which attracted a group of artistic families. Both May's mother and father were accomplished trained artists and May was rarely to be found without a sketch book and pencil to capture images of her surroundings often with a wonderful whimsy that stayed with her throughout her long successful career.


The City of South Perth to honour May's connection to South Perth (some 50 years) purchased a collection of original paintings by Herbert, Cecie and May Gibbs. The City of South Perth Historical Society proudly operate from the Gallery and Cultural Centre, Heritage House, 111 Mill Point Road, South Perth and display on permanent basis in Gallery Three selected items from this wonderful art collection. From time to time throughout the year an extensive Exhibition is held in all three gallery rooms. Please check out website for details.