James Hugh McPhillimy and his sister Louisa Jane McPhillimy presented Geelong Gallery with five new works for the permanent collection in 1935.
They gave Edwin Long’s The Babylonian maid and Henry Davis’ A placid morning on the Wye as a Centenary of Melbourne gift. In October, they made a further gift of On the Thames, by Benjamin Leader and An Eastern well by Frederick Goodall.
In December 1935, Louisa gifted Thomas Faed’s Reading the Bible, which depicts a working class family in a small cottage. A young boy is reading the Bible, as the other children roam around the home, while the three adults sit and listen to the verses.
Reading the Bible was among the first 50 paintings that Thomas Faed exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. According to Faed himself, this work was: ‘the first I sold, and right proud I was’.