Ray Crooke, Australian artist, Died at 93


Ray Austin Crooke was born on July 12, 1922, and died on December 5, 2015.

He was an Australian artist known for his landscapes.

Ray won the Archibald Prize in 1969 with a portrait of George Johnston.

Ray Crooke was born in Auburn, Victoria.

He spent time in Townsville, Cape York and other parts of northern Australia during World War II.

After the war, Ray enrolled in Art School at Swinburne University of Technology and later travelled to New Guinea, Tahiti and Fiji.

His portrait of the novelist George Johnston won the Archibald Prize in 1969, and the University of Queensland owns three of Ray Crooke’s portrait paintings: Portrait of Xavier Herbert (1977), Portrait of Professor Emeritus Sir Zelman Cowen, (1919-2011), Vice-Chancellor 1970-1977 (1977) and Portrait of Sadie Herbert (1980).

However, Ray is not known usually for portrait painting.

Ray is known for serene views of Islander people and ocean landscapes, many of which are based on the art of Paul Gauguin.

He was responsible for the dust-jacket for Poor Fellow My Country by Xavier Herbert.

His painting The Offering (1971) is in the Vatican Museum collection.

Many of his works are in Australian galleries.

“North of Capricorn” was an Australian touring retrospective exhibition in 1997 organised by the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery (Townsville), initiated and curated by Grafico Topico’s writer and curator Sue Smith.

Ray received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 1993 Australia Day Honours, “in recognition opf service to the arts, particularly as a landscape artist”.

Ray Crooke passed away in 2015 at the age of 93.