|Margaret Olley AC|
Margaret Olley in August 2009
|Birth name||Margaret Hannah Olley|
24 June 1923|
Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||26 July 2011
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia
|Training||East Sydney Technical College|
|Awards||Mosman Art Prize (1947)|
Margaret Olley was born in Lismore, New South Wales. She attended Somerville House in Brisbane during her high school years. She was so focused on art that she dropped one French class in order to take another art lesson.
Tributes and Honours
Olley was twice the subject of an Archibald Prize winning painting; the first by William Dobell in 1948 and the other by Ben Quilty in 2011. She was also the subject of paintings by many of her artist friends, including Russell Drysdale.
On 10 June 1991, in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, Olley was made an Officer of the Order of Australia 'for service as an artist and to the promotion of art'. On 12 June 2006, she was awarded Australia's highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order, 'for service as one of Australia's most distinguished artists, for support and philanthropy to the visual and performing arts, and for encouragement of young and emerging artists'.
Of the last paintings that Olley did before her death, 27 were exhibited at Sotheby's Australia in Woollahra in an exhibition entitled The Inner Sanctum of Margaret Olley that opened on 2 March 2012. Olley had put the final touches on the show the day before she died and Philip Bacon, who had exhibited her work for decades, had prepared a catalogue to show her that weekend. The opening night was attended by about 350 people among whom were the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, who gave an address, in which she said that Olley's work was often just like the artist, "filled with optimism". Other attendees at the opening included Penelope Wensley, the Governor of Queensland, Edmund Capon, Ben Quilty and Barry Humphries.
Her ideas about art were explored in conversations held between 19 October 2009 and 22 September 2010 with author Barry Pierce, whose book based on them was published in the year of her death.
Part of Olley's Paddington house, well known for its items that the painter collected and used as subject matter for her art, described as "her lifelong installation", is to be recreated at the Tweed River Art Gallery, an area not far from where the artist was born. The architect of the Tweed's new Margaret Olley Centre, Bud Brannigan, said that it would be faithful to Olley's house, "in all of its glory".
There is a comprehensive photographic record of her studio and work, shot on the morning she died, by artist photographer Greg Weight. This suite of prints, has been donated to the Tweed River Art Gallery.
A documentary by Catherine Hunter, Margaret Olley — A Life in Paint follows Olley as she completes her last – and many believe her finest – works, those painted in the 18 months leading up to her death. The critically acclaimed film interprets Olley's style, passion and artistic evolution through the reflections of her peers, including former National Gallery of Australia director Betty Churcher, curator Barry Pearce and Ben Quilty, whose portrait of Olley won the 2011 Archibald Prize.
- Kruger, P. 13 July 2006. Margaret Olley donates important collection to Art Gallery of NSW, ABC News
- Artist Margaret Olley dead, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 26 July 2011.
- Westwood, Matthew (16 April 2011), "Margaret Olley leaves her hat on for Ben Quilty's win", The Australian, retrieved 16 April 2011
- Artist Margaret Olley dead, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 July 2011.
- 2006. Honorary degrees, The University of Newcastle, Australia
- Taylor, Andrew (12 February 2012), "Final flowering of a dazzling talent", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 5 March 2012
- Address by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the occasion of the Official opening of the Margaret Olley Exhibition
- Murphy, Damien (3 March 2012), "Private Sydney: Olley Exhibition opening a friendly occasion", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 5 March 2012
- "Collection: E. Phillips Fox". Art Gallery of NSW. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Pierce, Barry (2012). Margaret Olley. The Beagle Press.
- Meacham, Steve (20 August 2011), "Behold this mess, where the spirit of a treasured artist dwells", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 5 March 2012
- Meacham, Steve (21 January 2012), "State of the art", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 5 March 2012
- Morgan, Joyce (25 February 2012), "A spirited house", The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 5 March 2012
- "Margaret Olley: A Life In Paint". ABC TV. 22 July 2012.
- "A Life in Paint". The Age. 24 July 2012.
- Phillip Bacon Galleries, Margaret Olley: Biographical notes
- Margaret Olley: Biography
- Margaret Olley Australian Government Cultural and Recreational Portal (Retrieved 23-July-2007)
- Tyranny of the tape recorder by Brenda Niall ABR of Margaret Olley: Far from a Still Life by Meg Stewart
- Margaret Olley & Donald Friend, 21 January – 19 March 2006 S H Ervin Gallery (Retrieved 23-July-2007)
- Margaret Olley review by Grafico Topico's Sue Smith
- Obituary of Margaret Olley, The Daily Telegraph, 31 July, 2011
- Design and Art Australia Online Biographical Record