OFFICER, Edward Cairns (1871-1921)

OFFICER, Edward Cairns (1871-1921)
was born at Murray Downs, Swan Hill, Victoria, in 1871. He was the third son of Suetonius Officer and his wife, a daughter of the Rev. Adam Cairns. His grandfather, Sir Robert Officer (1800-1879), was speaker of the Tasmanian house of assembly for many years. Officer was educated at Toorak College and the national gallery, Melbourne. From there he went to Paris and studied at Julien's. He exhibited at leading exhibitions in Paris and London, and in 1903 was the winner of the Wynne prize awarded by the national gallery, Sydney. In 1912 his painting, "The Woolshed", was purchased under the Felton (q.v.) bequest for the national gallery, Melbourne. In the same year, on the foundation of the Australian Art Association at Melbourne, he was elected its president and held the position for the rest of his life. He was appointed a trustee of the public library, museums and national gallery of Victoria in 1916. He died at Macedon, Victoria, on 7 July 1921. He married Grace, daughter of Sir Thomas Fitzgerald (q.v.), who survived him. Officer who worked in oils did some excellent landscape work, restrained, sometimes low-toned, yet with a feeling for the open air. Three examples of his work are at the Melbourne gallery and he is also represented at Castlemaine.
The Argus, 9 July 1921; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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