Elizabeth Drake was born in 1866 in Rochester, Kent, England. Her naturalistic renderings of landscape and architectural subjects in watercolour were much admired and reflected her travels England and South Africa. She was a devoted member of SASA and a frequent exhibitor. In 1941 she held an exhibition at the Maskew Miller Gallery, opened by Dr J.R. Derbyshire, Archbishop of Cape Town. Press reports on the event throw light on white middle-class tastes in Cape Town at the time. Derbyshire indulged in some wartime rhetoric, openly revealing his hostility to the "intelligentsia" and their "art tyranny" (The Cape Times, 30.7.1941). This seems, in context, to have been a reference to the New Group. These "Hitlers of the mind", he argued, need not dominate the thinking of the "majority" any longer (The Cape Argus, 29.7.1941). Supporting what he called "the bourgeois outlook on art", which he described as "nice, clean and pleasant", as well as "universal", he declared that no "bourgeois" people such as those present - could be persuaded "that ugliness was beauty" (The Cape Times: loc.cit.). Drake, he said, had always "refused to bow the knee to Baal", and was deserving of gratitude "for painting pictures which they could all understand and admire" (The Cape Argus: loc.cit). She died Cape Town in 1954.
Exhibitor on SASA-related exhibitions c.1898 - 1950: 1910: SAFAA 3rd Annual Exh., combined with SASA and SADC, Drill Hall, Darling St., fm. 2 Nov. 1931: 1st Annual Exh. Of Contemp. National Art, SAAG (SANG) with SASA, 7 Dec. - 31 Mar. 1932. 1936:
SASA sect., with NAiS indep. artists, 6th Annual Exh. Of Contemp. Art, SANG, 17 Dec. - 17 Feb. 1937. 1939: SASA Exh. of Pictures and other works of Art, AG, (exh. and auc- tion for the SA Nat. Mayors' Fund), Dec. 1940: SASA 37th Annual Exh., AG, Burg St., 29 Jan- 10 Feb. 1941: SASA 38th Annual Exh., SANG, 17 Feb. -31 Mar. 1942: SASA 39th Annual Exh., SANG, 23 Feb. - 18 Apr. 1943: SASA Winter Exh., MMG, 14 –25 Sep. 1944: 41st Annual Exh. of Contemp. SA Art, org. by SASA with other Societies, SANG, 25 Feb. 1946: 43rd Annual Exh. of Contemp. SA Art, arr. by SASA with NSA, MMG,5-23 Apr. 1947: SASA Members' Annual Exh., MMG, 9 - 22 Sep. 1948: SASA 45th Annual Exh., MMG, 20 Apr. - I May.