Arthur Boyd Australian, 1920-1999

1920 Born Murrumbeena, Victoria

1935 Attends National Gallery Art School, Melbourne, Victoria
1936-38 Moves to grandfather Arthur Merric Boyd’s (a painter) cottage on the Mornington Peninsula, where time is spent painting landscapes and portraits
1937 First solo exhibition, Westminster Gallery, Melbourne
1939 Attended influential Herald exhibition of French and British Contemporary Art
1940 First major exhibition, Athenaeum Gallery, Melbourne
1941 Conscripted into the army. Meets influential peers such as John Perceval, Noel Counihan, Joy Hester, Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, John and Sunday Reed.
1942-46 Exhibits in Sydney and Melbourne with the Contemporary Art Society during this     period
1945 Marries Yvonne Lennie.
1945-47 Works on a series of biblical paintings
1946 Exhibits with Tucker and Nolan, Rowden White Library, University of Melbourne.
1948 First commission – mural on Uncle Martin Boyd’s dining room wall at The Grange.
1949 First ceramic tile paintings
1950 First retrospective exhibition, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney. Begins work on Wimmera paintings.
1951 Visit to Central Australia
1954-56 Works on commission for a ceramic pylon, Olympic Swimming Pool, Melbourne
1957 Begins series of ‘half-caste’ Bride paintings
1958 Represents Australia (with Sir Arthur Streeton) at Venice Biennale
1959 Signs Antipodean Manifesto, along with David Boyd, Blackman, Brack, Dickerson, Perceval Pugh and Bernard Smith.
1960 Beginning of a period of overseas travel and overseas exhibiting. First show at Zwemmer Gallery, London.
1966 Starts Nebuchadnezar paintings
1971 First visit to Bundanon (which he purchases in 1979). Bundanon is later declared a Wildlife Refuge, and subsequently donated by Boyd to the people of Australia.
1979 Awarded the Order of Australia (AO) for services to art
1984 Begins Bather series of paintings
1986 Subject of a feature film made for London Weekend Television
1988 Represents Australia at 43rdVenice Biennale
1993-94 Major retrospective, AGNSW, Sydney
1995 Australian of the Year
1999 Named ‘Australian Legend’ by Australia Post. Dies in April.
Exhibited paintings, prints, drawings and ceramics widely in Australia and internationally throughout his career, until his death in 1999.


Has had more than 120 solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas, including representing Australia at Venice Biennale in 1958 and 1988.


1963 Henry Caselli Richards Prize, Brisbane
1971 Britannica Australia Award
1971-72 Creative Art Fellowship, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra
1979 Order of Australia (OA) for services to art
1992 Companion of the Order of Australia


National Gallery of Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales
National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of South Australia
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Museums & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory
Queensland Art Gallery
Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery
Other regional, university and public collections

McKenzie, J. Arthur Boyd: Art & Life, Thames & Hudson, London, 2000 
Franz Philipp Arthur Boyd Thames & Hudson, London, 1967
Barry Pearce Arthur Boyd retrospective Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 1994
Grazia Gunn ‘Arthur Boyd 1920-1999’ Art & Australia, vol. 37 no. 2, Dec 1999 – Feb 2000