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 George Edmund Butler  (1872 - 1935)

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Lived/Active: New Zealand/England      Known for: portrait and landscape painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
France Salesches Oct 25th 1918 from Neuville
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

The following biography, written by Cecil Broome, is from the Bristol Savages*, an ongoing art association of Bristol, England from 1904.

Born in Southampton in January 1872, George Butler was age twelve when he was taken to New Zealand and lived in the backwoods where, in the absence of any distractions, he was able to practice his obvious talent for drawing.  He soon made up his mind that he wanted to take up art as a career and pinched and scraped enough to come back to England and study art seriously. When he felt that he had enough money he left New Zealand avoiding the cost of a fare by signing up as a deckhand.

It must be assumed that he sold some of his works, for he studied at the Lambeth School of Art*, the Academie Julian* in Paris and at the Royal Academy of Antwerp*, where in 1900 he won a medal.  Shortly after he came to Bristol and became Art Master at Clifton College. He also ran a school and studio at 92A, Whiteladies Road., with classes in figure and landscape painting.

In 1907 when he was thirty-five years old he became an artist member and for the next thirteen years was most active in the Wigwam (Bristol Savages) and in the world of art.  In appearance he was tall and lithe, with a mop of dark hair and a beard, which was beginning to turn grey.  Of a mild disposition he was extremely fond of children who were often the subject of his sketches.

In 1904 he first exhibited at the Royal Academy of London* and some idea of the quality of his work may be gained by the fact that one of his pictures sold for £300.  In 1912 he was elected a member of the Royal Watercolor Association.

He was a regular attender at the Wigwam and we possess 41 of his pictures mostly landscapes in oils or water colours.  Later he turned to portraits and became well known in that branch of the art.  In 1917 he was appointed official artist to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who purchased some of his pictures. He was still active in the Wigwam until 1920 when he left to live in Twickenham. A farewell presentation picture of him by Charlie Thomas shows him sitting on a horse. Later he moved to Felixstowe where he died in 1935 aged 63.

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