Olley, Margaret (1923-)

Also known as
Olley, Margaret, (Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), Companion of the Order of Australia, Centenary Medal for service to Australian society, Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland.) (1923-2011)
Olley, Margaret (1923-2011)
Olley, Margaret Hannah (1923-2011)
Field of activity
Artist; Painter
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35693939
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-556600

Biographies

Margaret Olley is known as one of Australia's most prized interior and still life painters. She first came to public attention as the subject of Sir William Dobell's winning Archibald portrait in 1948. These days she is regarded as an Australian national treasure. In 1997 her work was the subject of a major retrospective organized by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Margaret Olley began her career painting sets for various theatre groups, before displaying her painting in exhibitions at Royal Queensland Art Society and the Under Thirties Group in Sydney. Her painting won the inaugural Mosman Prize in 1947.

Margaret later travelled to Europe where she studied art at La Grande Chaumiere in Paris and, in 1952, she exhibited a collection of favourably-reviewed paintings. She returned to Brisbane in 1953 and was commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery to paint a mural of Paris' Place de la Concorde for an upcoming French art exhibition. She soon received commissions to paint murals in other Brisbane landmarks such as the Grosvenor and Lennon's hotels.

Since then, Margaret has travelled the globe gaining inspiration for her bold still-life paintings and viewing exhibitions of classic artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Miro and Manet. Margaret is regarded as a generous benefactor, having donated many of her works to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 1990, she established the Margaret Hannah Olley Trust to produce other artists' works for public donation. In 1994, Olley's generosity to the gallery was celebrated in the exhibition to which she donated works of Donald Friend, Arthur Boyd, Walter Sickert, Edgar, Duncan Grant and Mathew Smith.

Margaret has earned countless art prizes and awards for her many works shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. In 2006 Margaret was elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for her service as one of Australia's most distinguished artists, her support and philanthropy to the visual and performing arts, and her encouragement of young and emerging artists. In 2007 she was appointed a Fellow of the National Art School.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

After her first Australian solo painting exhibitions, Olley worked and exhibited in France in the 1950s. An endearing personality, Olley had many travelling and working friendships with other Australian artists. Olley died at her home in Paddington, Sydney, on 26th July 2011.

painter, was born on 22 June 1923 in Lismore, NSW, eldest of the three children of Joseph Olley and Grace, nee Temperley. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Tully in Queensland, then to Murwillumbah (NSW) before finally settling in Brisbane. Margaret was educated at Somerville House. She was taught art by Caroline Barker , an enthusiastic teacher quick to recognise ability. She spent a year at Brisbane Central Technical College, then studied at East Sydney Tech. under Dorothy Thornhill , Jean Bellette , Lyndon Dadswell , Douglas Dundas , Herbert Badham and Frank Medworth , graduating in 1945 with first-class honours. In 1943 she painted sets for John Kay of the Mercury Theatre Group; in 1947 she designed and executed the sets for Sam Hughes’s production of J.E. Flecker’s Hassan ; in 1948 she worked with Sidney Nolan on Hughes’s production of Cocteau’s Orphee and Shakespeare’s Pericles . She began showing her paintings in group exhibitions in 1944 – at the Royal Queensland Art Society Exhibition in Brisbane and the Under Thirties Group in Sydney. By 1945 she was exhibiting with the Contemporary Art Society in Sydney. In 1948 she held her first solo exhibitions at the Macquarie Galleries, Sydney and the Morton Galleries, Brisbane, where she again exhibited in 1950. In 1947 she won the Mosman Art Prize with New England Landscape , one of many landscapes she executed at this time. She and Donald Friend were among the first of many artists to paint in the ...

Flourished

  • fl. c.1943 - c.2011

View the full record at Design and Art Australia Online

Margaret Hannah Olley AC (24 June 1923-26 July 2011) was an Australian painter, known for her colourful still lifes and intimate interiors. Margaret Olley was born in Lismore, New South Wales.

View the full record at Libraries Australia

Related people and organisations

Australian Women's Register

Design and Art Australia Online

  • Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at the University of Western Australia
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Tweed River Art Gallery, Murwillumbah, NSW
  • Solo Exhibition
  • French Art Today
  • Untitled Event
  • Untitled Event
  • Untitled Event
  • Untitled Event
  • Solo Exhibition
  • Solo Exhibition
  • Contemporary Art Society
  • Under Thirties Group
  • Royal Queensland Art Society
  • Margaret Olley retrospective
  • Review
  • Colonial Pastime to Contemporary Profession: 150 years of Australian Women's Art
  • Australian Women Artists of the Twentieth Century from the collection of Elinor and Fred Wrobel
  • In the Company of Women: 100 years of Australian women's art from the Cruthers collection
  • Women and Art
  • The Other Side of the Coin: Women artists from the Albury collection
  • Women Artists from the Maitland City Gallery Collection
  • Look, Look Again
  • BRAG 200x200
  • Newcastle artists: International Women's Year
  • An exhibition of Women's achievements in the Arts
  • (see also) Mosman Art Prize
  • (see also) Friend, Donald
  • (see also) Lee Brown, Mitty
  • (see also) Strachan, David
  • (see also) Dyring, Moya
  • (see also) Sainthill, Loudon
  • (see also) Rees, Lloyd
  • (see also) Cilento, Margaret
  • (see also) Drysdale, Russell
  • (see also) Dobell, William
  • (see also) Nolan, Sidney
  • (see also) Rickards, Jocelyn
  • (see also) Kay, John
  • (see also) Hughes, Sam
  • (see also) Rose, Francis
  • (see also) Rose, David
  • (see also) Olley, Grace
  • (see also) Olley, Joseph
  • (see also) Barker, Caroline
  • (see also) Churcher, Betty
  • (see also) Murray, Alec
  • (see also) O'Brien, Justin
  • (see also) Zander, Alleyne Clarice
  • (see also) Untitled (Poppies)
  • (see also) New England Landscape

Resources for Margaret Olley

Selected resources (6)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Olley, Margaret
    Published: National Foundation for Australian Women
    Series: IspartOf The Australian Women's Register
  2. Portrait of a life well lived
    Series: IspartOf The Australian
  3. Margaret Olley, Extract Biographical Notes
    Bacon, Philip
    [Fortitude Valley Queensland 4006]
    Published: Philip Bacon Galleries
    Series: IspartOf Philip Bacon Galleries
  4. Margaret Olley AC (1923 )
    Queensland Government
    [2009]
    Series: IspartOf Women's Contributions to Queensland, 1940-1949,Office for Women, Sate of Queensland
  5. Margaret Olley
    France Christine
    [Sydney, NSW]
    Published: Dictionary of Australian Artists Online
    Series: IspartOf Dictionary of Australian Artists Online
  6. Margaret Olley
    [Canberra, Australian Capital Territory]
    Published: Australian Government
    Series: IspartOf Culture and Recreation PortalAustralian Government

Resources by Margaret Olley (45)

  1. [Margaret Olley : Australasian Art & Artists File]
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-
    [ Book ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 133,817.844)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 133,817.844)

  2. Margaret Olley : recent paintings : 30 November-23 December 1994, Browse & Darby
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1994 ]
    At Nat Gall Aus Res
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 107,459.75)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 107,459.75)

  3. Margaret Olley : recent paintings
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1994 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 91,476.805)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 91,476.805)

  4. Homage / by Margaret Olley
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1972 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,201.719)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,201.719)

  5. Margaret Olley : Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide Festival, 1990
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1990 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,287.422)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,287.422)

  6. Margaret Throsby program : Margaret Olley 28/10/96
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-
    [ Sound : 1996 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,153.945)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,153.945)

  7. Olley : a life in paint
    [ Video : 2006 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 87,268.531)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 87,268.531)

  8. Margaret Olley : recent paintings : 10th June-25th June 1999 ... Nevill Keating Pictures Ltd
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1997 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 80,370.148)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 80,370.148)

  9. Margaret Olley : interiors and still lifes
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book, Government publication : 2006 ]
    At 21 libraries
    Margaret Olley : interiors and still lifes
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 80,218.383)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 80,218.383)

  10. An exhibition of recent works by Margaret Olley : [invitation]
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1978 ]
    At State Library of QLD
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,593.875)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,593.875)

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Resources about Margaret Olley (35)

  1. [Margaret Olley : Australasian Art & Artists File]
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-
    [ Book ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 134,473.562)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 134,473.562)

  2. Margaret Olley : recent paintings : 30 November-23 December 1994, Browse & Darby
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1994 ]
    At Nat Gall Aus Res
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 107,049)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 107,049)

  3. Margaret Olley : recent paintings
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1994 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 91,168.852)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 91,168.852)

  4. Homage / by Margaret Olley
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1972 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,812.523)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,812.523)

  5. Margaret Throsby program : Margaret Olley 28/10/96
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-
    [ Sound : 1996 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,594.773)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 89,594.773)

  6. Olley : a life in paint
    [ Video : 2006 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 86,311.422)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 86,311.422)

  7. [Biographical cuttings on Margaret Olley, artist, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
    [ Published : 1900-1990 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 83,272.047)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 83,272.047)

  8. Margaret Olley : interiors and still lifes
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book, Government publication : 2006 ]
    At 21 libraries
    Margaret Olley : interiors and still lifes
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,919.695)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,919.695)

  9. Margaret Olley : recent paintings : 10th June-25th June 1999 ... Nevill Keating Pictures Ltd
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 1997 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,668.727)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,668.727)

  10. Margaret Olley / Christine France
    France, Christine, 1939-
    [ Book, Photograph : 1990-2002 ]
    At 102 libraries
    Margaret Olley / Christine France
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,992.562)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,992.562)

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Archived websites (1996 – now)

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  1. Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
    ... Its website, online search 23 Nov.2015 Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre; History ... 2011, and to honour the express wish of the artist, the Margaret Olley Art Trust donated "to the Tweed ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,392.183)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,392.183)

  2. Cilento, Margaret (1923-2006)
    Artist;
    ... Olley, Margaret ... 1923 in Sydney but brought up in Brisbane. Margaret went to school at Somerville House when Caroline ... fellow Queenslander Margaret Olley . Being ineligible for the NSW Travelling Scholarship, she applied for ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,213.881)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,213.881)

  3. Dobell, William, (Sir) (-1970)
    Painter; Portraitist; War Artist; Artist; 9002; Cartoonist / Illustrator; Visual Artist
    ... Olley, Margaret ... Born 1899 at Newcastle, New South Wales; moved to Sydney to work 1923; attended Julian Ashton's Art ... child of Robert Dobell, a bricklayer,and his wife Margaret Emma Wrightson. At Cooks Hill Commercial ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 43.897)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 43.897)

  1. CANCELLATION OF NOTIFICATION OF AFTERAUCTION PURCHASE
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 12 March 1965 [Issue No.41] p 810

    Government Gazette Notices

    ... , section 10, at West Pennant Hills, of 341 perches; purchaser, Raymond Donald Swan and his wife Margaret ... Olley Swan as joint tenants. Ten. 64-4,359. ... 77 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 43.922)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 43.922)

  2. IN the Supreme Court of New South Wales.—Notice of intended distribution of estate.—Any person having any claim upon the
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 20 February 1987 [Issue No.36] p 1012

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... having any claim upon the estate of MARGARET WINSTON OLLEY, late of Fairfield, N.S.W., display artist ... 122 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31.328)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31.328)

  3. RESIGNATIONS
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 19 May 1978 [Issue No.57 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 1930

    Government Gazette Appointments And Employment

    ... , 1977]. Brian Olley, Driver/Attendant [11th October, 19771. Margaret Hembly, Acting District ^Officer ... 157 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31.263)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31.263)

  1. Margaret Olley's Drawings
    The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Wednesday 7 November 1951 p 2 Article
    ... Margaret Olley's Drawings BY OUR ART CRITIC The eloquent contrast be-tween Margaret Olley's water ... art completely. Margaret Olley is, of course, British, but the vitality of a new and raw continent ... 238 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,855.869)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,855.869)

  2. Margaret Olley's Engravings
    The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Tuesday 2 June 1953 p 7 Article
    ... Margaret Olley's | Engravings By Our Art Critic Margaret Olley's delectable souvenirs from abroad ... not neces-sarily possessed by the artist. Still Margaret Olley, an eclectic by temperament, has ... 188 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,680.682)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,680.682)

  3. Margaret Olley steals show
    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) Friday 8 December 1950 p 2 Article
    ... Margaret Olley steals show By ELIZABETH YOUNG THERE can be no ques-tion that the last few years has ... latest Continental watercolours of Margaret Olley and a number of pictures by local and Sydney artists ... 285 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,609.8)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,609.8)

  1. Margaret Olley Old Brisbane Works o ...
    Olley, Margaret ...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1950-1959 ]
  2. Afternoon interior with cornflowers ...
    Olley, Margaret ...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1996 ]
  3. Zinnias and apples / Margaret Olley
    Olley, Margaret ...
    [ Art work : 1954 ]
  4. Artist Margaret Olley, Sydney, 2000 ...
    Graham, Lorrie, ...
    [ Photograph : 2000 ]
    Artist Margaret Olley, Sydney, 2000, 2 / Lorrie Graham
  5. Margaret Olley, 1980 / William Yang
    Yang, William, ...
    [ Photograph : 1980 ]
    Margaret Olley, 1980 / William Yang
  6. Artist Margaret Olley, Sydney, 2000 ...
    Graham, Lorrie, ...
    [ Photograph : 2000 ]
    Artist Margaret Olley, Sydney, 2000, 1 / Lorrie Graham
  1. A conversation with Margaret Olley
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. News
    [ Sound : 2011 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    A conversation with Margaret Olley
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,201.415)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,201.415)

  2. Margaret Olley
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National
    [ Sound : 2006 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    Margaret Olley
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,147.636)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,147.636)

  3. Margaret Olley remembered
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National
    [ Sound : 2011 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    Margaret Olley remembered
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,068.659)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,068.659)

  4. Artworks Feature: Margaret Olley
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National
    [ Sound : 2009 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    Artworks Feature: Margaret Olley
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 940.115)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 940.115)

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  1. Margaret Olley 1923-2011: [Obituary: Margaret Hannah Olley was one of the great ambassadors for the arts in our time]
    France, Christine
    Art and Australia
    [ Article : 2011 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,208.844)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,208.844)

  2. Margaret Olley
    [ Periodical : 1900-2019 ]
    Possibly online
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,030.328)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,030.328)

  3. Margaret Olley
    Maryke, Anna
    Oz Arts Magazine
    [ Article : 1995 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 939.268)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 939.268)

  4. Margaret Olley
    Dobell, William
    Meanjin
    [ Article : 1949 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 887.009)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 887.009)

  1. Margaret Olley : artist file
    Olley, Margaret
    [ Book ]
    At Nat Portrait Gall
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,441.282)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,441.282)

  2. The Yellow Room: Margaret Olley
    Olley, Margaret, 1923-2011
    [ Book : 2014 ]
    At NERAM Hinton Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,356.966)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,356.966)

  3. Portraits : Margaret Olley : 12 May - 10 September 2017 / Ingrid Hedgcock
    Hedgcock, Ingrid, 1977-
    [ Book, Photograph, Government publication : 2016-2017 ]
    At 8 libraries
    Portraits : Margaret Olley : 12 May - 10 September 2017 / Ingrid Hedgcock
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,310.775)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,310.775)

  4. Margaret Olley Art Centre
    Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
    [ Book : 2014 ]
    At 4 libraries
    Margaret Olley Art Centre
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,292.703)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,292.703)

  1. BARKER, Caroline (1894-1988)
    BARKER, Caroline  (1894-1988)
    Created by KEVING., 27 items.

    "Caroline Barker (1894-1988), artist, was born on 8 September 1894 at Ascot Vale, Melbourne, second of ten children of Victorian-born parents Arthur Barker, journalist, and his wife Eliza, née Strible...

    Keywords: Margaret Cilento, Vida Lahey
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 52.82)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 52.82)

  2. Wolinski
    Wolinski
    Created by pedwell, 28 items.

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.132)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.132)

  3. MERIOOLA
    MERIOOLA
    Created by KEVING., 8 items.

    MERIOOLA - Demolished house, Edgecliff Rd, Woollahra. It stood on the south side of present day Rosemont Ave, built in 1859 by Mr John Edye Manning, purchased by Mr Arthur Allen, popularly known as th...

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.053)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.053)