Margaret Olley at her Lismore home/studio.
Margaret Olley at her Lismore home/studio. R. Ian Lloyd/National Portrait Gallery

Artist pledges $1 million

LISMORE-born artist Margaret Olley may play a significant part in the purchase of the most expensive artwork by an Australian gallery.

Ms Olley has pledged $1 million towards the purchase of the $15 million work by French Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne titled Bords de la Marne for the Art Gallery of NSW.

A representative from the gallery, Susan Briggs, said that if the bid was successful, the Cezanne would be an important contribution to the arts.

“This would be a very significant purchase and allow the public to see an impressive work of art,” she said.

“We really hope we can raise the remaining funds.”

Ms Briggs said Ms Olley was well-known in the arts community for her philanthropy and that it was likely she had approached the gallery herself to offer the funds.

Director of the Lismore Regional Art Gallery Steven Aldterton said Margaret Olley - who is the gallery's patron and will soon have a gallery named after her in Lismore - had always been generous with her time and financial contributions to the regional gallery.

“Margaret has bought several paintings for the Lismore Regional Gallery and if you include her donations, has contributed over $100,000,” he said.

“Ms Olley is 85 now and although she has recently been in hospital for two months, still keeps talking about raising money for the state and the Lismore gallery.”

Mr Alderton also announced Ms Olley had recently committed more funds for the Lismore centre.



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