MR. GEORGE E. BUTLER
News has been received of the death in England of Mr. George E. Butler, the well-known artist, at the age of 66. Mr. Butler was one of the most prominent of New.Zealand painters who made good abroad. He was very well known to all painters and students of the "School of Design" during the time when James Nairn was such an influence in art in New Zealand. , „. The late Mr. Butler came to New Zealand at the age of 11, and. spent most of his boyhood and early manhood in Wellington. He studied art at the Wellington Technical. College under the late Mr. J. M. Nairn, and in 1897 went to Sydney, accompanied by Mr: McGregor Wright, especially to see the pictures in the art gallery. Having seen these, he decided that a trip to England would further his studies m art, and in 1898 he went by "the s.s. Gothic, working his passage in the stokehold in order to save money for the. pursuit of his studies. He went to the Lambeth School in London, and the headmaster, Mr. T. McKeggie, advised him later to go to Paris, where he went to the Academic Julian, gaining honours in art there. Then he went to Antwerp where he won the Concours gold medal, and was crowned with the laurel wreath, against all competitors. This was at that time the finishing school on the Continent. A former winner of this prize was the well-known artist George Clausen, R.A,. Mr. Butler sent some of his work done there to New Zealand and these found ready sale. ■ . He returned to New Zealand and did some fine paintings one of which, "Spring Blossoms," was purchased for the Permanent Collection and hangs in the Dunedin Art Gallery. It is very much admired. He left this country again for England and lived there until his death. His work was exhibited in the New Zealand Academy's annual exhibition and at the opening of the National Art Gallery. A fine example is hanging in the Retrospective Collection of New Zealand Painting. He was a regular exhibitor at the various societies' exhibitions, having had pictures hung in the Royal Academy and in the Royal Scottish Academy. He has paintings hung in various art galleries, and Mr. W. S. Percy in his book "Strolling Through England" mentions seeing his work in the Bristol Art Gallery. ' During the war, he was appointed to the rank of captain in order to do art work for the New Zealand Government. When sent out, these pictures were shown in the various centres. The late Mr. G. E. Butler was of a most kindly and lovable disposition, and many young-students who left New Zealand to study at Home were helped by his advice and in every other way to set themselves on the right road to success. He leaves a widow, one daughter, Berenice, wife of Professor Bisby, of Winnipeg, and one son, Mr. Brian Butler, B.Sc.
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Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume CXXII, Issue 81, 2 October 1936
MR. GEORGE E. BUTLER Evening Post, Volume CXXII, Issue 81, 2 October 1936
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