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Robert Henderson Croll
, 1927

by Frederick George Reynolds

oil on canvas on board (frame: 79.0 cm x 57.0 cm, support: 72.5 cm x 51.0 cm)

Robert Henderson Croll (1869-1947), author, worked as a clerk in the Victorian public service for over 40 years, but is better remembered for his books and journalism. The son of a Scottish-born gold miner, he began contributing articles to Melbourne journals in his early twenties. Croll was also an inveterate bushwalker – he once claimed to have ‘carried his swag’ about 3000 miles – and extolled the pleasures of bushwalking through his prose, some of which was published in The Open Road in Victoria (1928) and Along the track (1930). Croll was also involved in Melbourne art circles, and an associate of artists such as John Longstaff, Arthur Streeton and Fred McCubbin. Having published a biography of Tom Roberts in 1935, in 1946 Croll edited a volume of Streeton’s letters to Roberts, Smike to Bulldog (1946). In addition, on the basis of several trips to Central Australia, he was co-author of an early text on Aboriginal art.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Grietje Croll in memory of her late husband Robert Devereaux Croll and with the endorsement of his daughter Helen Croll 2013
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2013.35