Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Margaret Olley


News report, Sydney Morning Herald 26 July 2011:

Prolific, free-spirited and much-loved artist Margaret Olley has died at her home in Sydney's Paddington, which has long been the subject of her many paintings.  Olley, who was 88, was completing work for a solo show due to open in September. 

Over a career spanning more than six decades, the Lismore-born artist became one Australia's most lauded and loved artists.  Olley was a generous arts benefactor who donated many works to public galleries over the years, including the Art Gallery of NSW and contributed towards its purchase of Cezanne's Bord De La Marne three years ago.  The painter often made the interior of her exuberant home in Duxford Street the subject of her still-life works.  With its flowers, fruit, vases, books and ashtrays, the over-flowing house has long been a mecca for Sydney's artists, bohemians and intellectuals.

Margaret Olley is the subject of a much published portrait by Sir William Dobell, as well as numerous other famous paintings.  She is the only person whose portrait has twice won the Archibald Prize, in 1948 and 1911.

Here are some of portraits of the late Margaret Olley:

Dobell’s 1948 depiction of Margaret Olley, which won him his second Archibald

Ben Quilty’s Margaret Olley, winner of the 2011 Archibald

Margaret Olley self portrait, 1948, Portrait in the Mirror

Danelle Bergstrom's Conversation with Margaret Olley  a finalist for the 2003 Archibald Prize

Portrait of Margaret Olley by Russell Drysdale, 1948

And a final photograph of Margaret Olley at work:

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