A.M.E. Bale, William Rowell c.1924
(LaTrobe Collection, State Library of Victoria)
1898 – 1946
William Rowell, painter and teacher was born on the 28th January, 1898, in Carlton, Victoria. In 1913 he enrolled at the National Gallery School, Melbourne studying under Frederick McCubbin. He also studied with Max Meldrum.
His first solo exhibition was at the Athenaeum Gallery, Melbourne in 1920 and in 1928 he won the Castlemaine Art Prize. He went on to win many prizes for portraiture and landscape, including the commission to paint the portrait of Prime Minister, John Curtin. In 1939 he painted the background of a diorama for the National Museum of Victoria, depicting Aborigines of the Yarra Yarra tribe. After travelling to Central Australia he produced many studies of Australian Aborigines.
In 1941 he became a drawing teacher at the NGV School, 1941-46 he was acting head of the School. He died in Melbourne in 1946.
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