Griffith University offers condolences to the family and friends of one of Australia’s greatest painters, Margaret Olley who passed away at the age of 88 today.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor said Olley, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in 2008, was an exceptional artist and the University was saddened by her passing.

“In 2007, Ms Olley showcased her work over five decades at the Queensland College of Art including rarely seen works from her own private collection as well as important works from private Brisbane lenders,” Professor O’Connor said.

With more than 35 works on show, the exhibition featured the most comprehensive collection of works by the artist offered by any Queensland public art gallery or museum in more than a decade.

In 1941, soon after attending school at Somerville House in Brisbane, Olley first enrolled as an art student at the Brisbane Central Technical College later renamed Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

By 1947 she had completed her studies, made friends with leading Australian artists like Donald Friend, William Dobell and Russell Drysdale, and set the stage to become one of Australia’s most loved artists.

She moved to Brisbane again in 1953, opened an antique shop in 1959 which ran successfully for many years, and around 1973 began sharing her time between Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney.

In 2006 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia and named a Queensland Great.