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1902 - 1972

1902, Edinburgh, Scotland – 1972, Athelstone, SA

Robert Campbell was educated at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, and migrated to Brisbane in 1916. From the age of 20, he made his living as an artist, exhibiting from around 1921 with the Queensland Art Society. His solo exhibition in 1928 at Melbourne’s Sedon Gallery financed his trip to Europe with Rupert Bunny the same year. Campbell stayed with Bunny in Paris and later visited London, Scotland and Spain. In 1932, he returned to Australia and a year later he married Jean Young. From 1934 to 1941, Campbell was based in Sydney and undertook part-time teaching. In 1941, he became head of the art department at Launceston Technical College in Tasmania, where he acted as honorary advisor to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. In 1947, Campbell was appointed curator at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, and in 1949, he became the first Director of the Queensland National Art Gallery. Only two years later, in 1951, he was appointed Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, a position he held until his retirement in 1967. Campbell was also a member of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (1952–72).

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