Painter Margaret Olley dies aged 88
LISMORE born painter Margaret Olley has died, aged 88.
A spokeswoman for the Art Gallery of NSW says Olley was found dead at her Paddington home in Sydney, early on Tuesday morning.
The cause of her death was unknown at this stage, the spokeswoman said.
Olley was the subject of this year’s winning Archibald Prize portrait by Ben Quilty and in 1948 sat for William Dobell’s prize-winner.
In 1991, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service as an artist and to the promotion of art.
In 2006, Olley was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order, for service as one of Australia’s most distinguished artists, for philanthropy to the arts, and for encouragement of young and emerging artists.
“It’s such a great award. I’m overawed,” Olley said at the time.
“I thought just judges and just very important people got it.
”I’m not important. I just do what I want to do.“
Born in Lismore on June 24, 1923, Olley began painting as a young girl at boarding school in Brisbane, going on to become one of Australia’s most respected still-life and interior artists.
She become of the country’s most generous benefactors to public galleries, including the Art Gallery of NSW and Museum of Contemporary Art, and she held honorary doctorates from the Macquarie, Sydney, Queensland and Newcastle universities.
Olley lived alone in her Paddington home.