STATEMENT - Vale Ray Crooke AM
Australia’s most distinguished painters, Ray Crooke AM, has left a legacy of
unique works that capture life in far north Australia and the Pacific
Melbourne in 1922, Ray had a long and distinguished career as one of
Australia’s most recognised painters. In 1993, he was made a Member of the
Order of Australia in recognition of service to the arts, particularly as a
He trained at
Swinburne Tech from 1946 to 1948 following army service in Western Australia,
North Queensland and Borneo. Influenced greatly by his time working for the
Diocese of Carpentaria on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, he began
painting scenes of island life.
In 1948, Ray
began exhibiting his works in Melbourne and today is represented in many
significant collections including the National Gallery of Australia and
National Portrait Gallery of Australia – a testament to his unique talent and
He won the
Archibald Prize in 1969 for a portrait of close friend, writer George Johnston.
In the mid-1990s, he donated his collection of works by Drysdale, Friend, Olley
and Boyd to the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville, which mounted North
of Capricorn, a major retrospective of his work that toured in 1998 and
I extend my
condolences to Ray’s family and friends.
Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0448 448
487 | Justine.Sywak@communications.gov.au