Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley

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Margaret Olley

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Margaret Hannah Olley AC (24 June 192326 July 2011) was an Australian painter. She was the subject of more than 90 solo exhibitions.

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.

Her work concentrated on still life. In 1997 a major retrospective of her work was organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She received the inaugural Mosman Art Prize in 1947.

On 13 July 2006 she donated more works to the Art Gallery of New South Wales; her donations included more than 130 works worth $7 million.

Olley died at her home in Paddington in July 2011, aged 88., Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 26 July 2011. She never married and had no children.

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., The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 July 2011.

On 10 June 1991, in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, Olley was made a Member 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,...
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