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Margaret Olley
, 1991

by Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 36.2 cm x 45.3 cm)

Margaret Olley AC (1923 - 2011) is a painter. Born in Lismore, she studied art at East Sydney Technical College and the Grande Chaumière in Paris. She was well known in the Sydney post war art scene and her portrait was painted by Drysdale and Dobell - Dobell's painting won the 1948 Archibald Prize. Olley held her first one-person show that year. It was a sellout, and she held at least one solo exhibition annually from then on. In 1991 she reprised her success of 43 years before, when a show of thirty-five of her intimate, brilliantly coloured interiors and still lifes sold out again. The Art Gallery of New South Wales held a major retrospective show of her long career in 1996/7. Olley is still one of Sydney's best-known arts identities. In the 1980s she endowed the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust, which has funded acquisitions by many Australian institutions.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2004.62