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Juanita Lee-Brown (1922 - 2012)

Juanita (Mitty) Lee-Brown aka Russo
Born in San Francisco, California, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 27 Nov 1944 (to 1949) in Sydney, New South Wales, Australiamap
Wife of — married 1963 (to 1970) in New South Wales, Australiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Trinco, Sri Lankamap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Jul 2019
This page has been accessed 137 times.


Juanita "Mitty" Lee-Brown was born on 22 October 1922 in San Francisco, California, United States, the daughter of Ailsa Lee-Brown and Robert Lee-Brown.[1][2][3]

She was a well-known painter and and printmaker.[1][4]

She married Peter Russo on 27 November 1944 at a registry office in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.[2][5] They divorced in 1949.[5]

She married Bill Gordon in 1963. Described as a 'bohemian' and 'the last Grande Dame of Australian Art,' she deserted Bill in 1967 and fled with a lover to Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

Mitty died on 3 June 2012 in Trinco, Sri Lanka.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Mitty Lee Brown." Design and Art Australia Online. Retrieved 28 July 2019 by Clare Spring from
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Surprise wedding." 28 November 1944. The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 5. Retrieved 28 July 2019 by Clare Spring from
  3. Andrew Pfeiffer (4 October 2012). "Artist's most exciting work was the life she lived." The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2019 by Clare Spring from Archived 28 July 2019 at
  4. "Melbourne cafe murals." 15 February 1946. The Herald (Melbourne), p. 5. Retrieved 28 July 2019 by Clare Spring from
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kim Torney and Prue Torney, 'Russo, Peter Anthony (1908–1985)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 28 July 2019 by Clare Spring.
  • Ryerson Index

LEE-BROWN Juanita (Mitty) Obituary 1922-2012 Death Artist's most exciting work was the life she lived Sydney Morning Herald 04OCT2012

  • 01 May 1942 "Sydney Morning Herald" via

The engagement is announced of Miss Juanita (Mitty) Lee-Brown, only child of the late Dr. R. K. Lee-Brown. and of Mrs. G. U. Allan, of Palm Beach, to Lieutenant-de-vaisseau Francois Paul Fourlinnie, second son of M. and Madame Paul Fourlinnie of Paris.(*Apparently she did not marry him)

  • 28 November 1944 "Sydney Morning Herald" via

DR. and MRS. PETER VASQUEZ RUSSO, who were married quietly yesterday. Mrs, Russo was formerly Miss Juanita (Mitty) Lee-Brown, daughter of the late Dr. R. K. Lee-Brown and of the late Mrs. G. U. Allan. Dr. Russo is the son of the late Mr. George Russo and of Mrs. Russo, of Ballarat, Victoria. As a Melbourne University scholarship winner, Dr. Russo went to Japan where he became Professor of European Languages in the University of Tokyo. His bride this year was runner-up in the New South Wales Art Travelling Scholarship.

...Lee-Brown married and divorced Dr Peter Russo, then lived from the late 1940s until the early 1960s in Paris, Rome and Ischia. In the 1950s she married the Italian poet Nelo Risi and they lived in a grand apartment on the Isola Tiberina - the island in the Tiber - in Rome."..."In 1963, Lee-Brown accepted a proposal from a grazier, William Gordon, and went to live on a property called Bobingah, near Cooma."

Death 3 June 2012

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Categories: Painters | Printmakers