Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - History -

Sir Wil­liam Do­bell (1899-1970) [OBE, 1965; KBE, 1966] pur­chased the his­toric home known as Dun­rath on Cas­tle Hill Road, Cas­tle Hill, in 1964 and some thought was given at one time to turn­ing the build­ing into an art gallery.

In­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed artist, Sir Wil­liam Do­bell was born at New­cas­tle, NSW on 24 Septem­ber and ed­u­cated lo­cally. In 1924 he moved to Syd­ney and stud­ied at the Julian Ashton Art School. In 1929 he won the So­ci­ety of Artists trav­el­ling schol­ar­ship and moved to Lon­don to study at the Slade School. He re­turned to Syd­ney in 1939 and dur­ing the World War II worked on cam­ou­flage and as of­fi­cial artist with the Civil Con­struc­tion Corps. He won the Archibald Prize in 1943, 1948 and 1959. The in­ter­na­tional Time mag­a­zine com­mis­sioned Do­bell to paint a por­trait of (Sir) Robert Gor­don Men­zies who was Prime Min­is­ter of Aus­tralia. In 1960 the So­ci­ety of Artists Medal was awarded to Do­bell and in 1964 he won the Bri­tan­nica Aus­tralia award for art.

On 14 May 1970, Do­bell died and his will di­rected that his es­tate be used to ben­e­fit and pro­mote art in New South Wales, and the Sir Wil­liam Do­bell Art Foun­da­tion was es­tab­lished.

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