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RIVERS, R. Godfrey
1858 - 1925

1858, Plymouth, England – 1925, London

Richard Godfrey Rivers — considered by some ‘the father of art in Queensland’ — studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, under Professor Legros, and exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts before coming to Australia in 1889. He was art master at the Brisbane Central Technical College from 1891 to 1915, and his students included Bessie Gibson, Vida Lahey and Lloyd Rees, amongst others. Rivers was an active member of the Queensland Art Society, exhibiting annually from 1891 to 1916; he also served as president on several occasions during the years 1892–1911. Rivers was a tireless advocate for the establishment of a public art gallery in Queensland, and was successful in persuading then Premier Hugh Nelson to establish the institution. The Queensland National Art Gallery opened in 1895, with Rivers serving as Honorary Secretary to the Trustees; he was then appointed Honorary Curator. In 1915, Rivers left Queensland to live in Tasmania. He died in 1925 during a visit to England.

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