Lady Barbara Grimwade (born Barbara Gaerloch Kater) was born on August 27, 1935 in Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia. Barbara’s early years were spent in Trangie, outback NSW.
Barbara’s interest and appreciation for well-tailored clothing and fashion began during her school days and her early adulthood. As a young woman Barbara favoured Marlowe of Sydney, a designer who had studied in France and was highly proficient in haute couture. Following a move to Melbourne, Barbara was a dedicated patron of Arija Austin, the owner and designer of Tu in South Yarra. Austin’s designs were classically simple, austere, yet dramatic in colour and impact.
After graduating in physiotherapy from Sydney University, in 1959 she married Andrew Grimwade, a chemical engineer and scientist recently returned from Oxford. The Grimwade family were pioneers of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in Victoria. Barbara and Andrew shared a joint love of skiing, historical travel, and the arts. Andrew was knighted in 1980 for services to the Arts and the Community.
Following her death in March 1990, Barbara’s son Mr Angus K Grimwade generously donated over 400 items from her wardrobe to Ararat Gallery, including clothing, hats, handbags, shoes and assorted accessories of gloves, belts and scarves.