|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.
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
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.
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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