Born Melbourne, Australia 1858, died Melbourne 1936
Emma Minnie Boyd (E.M. Boyd), matriarch of the Boyd family, is thought to have received private lessons from Louis Buvelot and Eugene von Guérard as a child. From the cultivated à Beckett family, well educated and travelled, she went on to further her studies of painting at the National Gallery School, Melbourne during 1876–77 and 1879–88, while commencing exhibiting in the early 1870s.
In 1886 she married artist Arthur Merric Boyd, and they both began to exhibit with the Australian Artists Association (later the Victorian Artists Society). During this time she was invited to include paintings in exhibitions such as the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London (1886), the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition (1888–89) and Exhibition of Australian Art, Grafton Galleries, London (1898). In 1890 the couple moved to England to live at the à Beckett seat, Penleigh House, Wiltshire during which time they exhibited at the Royal Academy, London (1891). They returned to Melbourne in 1894 and settled in Sandringham.
A skilled and energetic artist, particularly in oil and watercolour, Boyd worked across still life, portraits, and landscapes. The Yarra River, Bunyip, Gembrook, Mornington, Healesville and Heidelberg, and holidays spent in Tasmania, provided inspiration for her work. Watercolours dominated Boyd’s output in the late 1890s, and in the early twentieth century her works could be understood as progressively deepening contemplations of the spirit of nature.
Her work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, McClelland Gallery and Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria and the Bundanon Trust, New South Wales.