His painting The Offering (1971) is in the Vatican Museum collection. Many of his works are in Australian galleries. He is known for serene views of Islander people and ocean landscapes, many of which are based on the art of Gauguin. He spent time in Townsville, Cape York and other parts of northern Australia during the Second World War. Returning from the Second World War, he enrolled in Art School at Swinburne University of Technology and later travelled to New Guinea, Tahiti and Fiji.
While a portrait of his won the Archibald Prize in 1969, he is not known usually for portrait painting. The University of Queensland owns three of Ray Crookes' portrait paintings: Portrait of Xavier Herbert (1977), Portrait of Professor Emeritus Sir Zelman Cowen, (1919-2011), Vice-Chancellor 1970-1977 (1977) and Portrait of Sadie Herbert (1980). He was responsible for the dust-jacket for Poor fellow my country by Xavier Herbert.
He has received an Order of Australia medal.
"North of Capricorn" was an Australian touring retrospective exhibition in 1997 organised by the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery (Townsville, Queensland, Australia) initiated and curated by Grafico Topico's writer and curator Sue Smith. Information about the exhibition and tour can be found at http://www.grafico-qld.com/content/ray-crooke
- Dobson, Rosemary (1971). Focus on Ray Crooke. University of Queensland Press. p. 13. ISBN 0702207020.
- Hergenhan, Laurie (July 2013). "A tale of three portrait" (pdf). Fryer Folios. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Crooke, Ray (1970), Preliminary design for the dustjacket of Xavier Herbert's Poor fellow my country, retrieved 3 December 2014
William Edwin Pidgeon
for George Johnston
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