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George William Pilkington - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - George William Pilkington (1879 - 1958)

George William Pilkington was born in Sea Point, South Africa 1879 - 1958

Art Education
Mainly self-taught; instruction under James Ford, a well-known Cape Town art-teacher of the
1923: Life-drawing classes at Miehaelis School, Cape Town

Short Artist Biography
George Pilkington was educated in Cape Town, played full-back for Hamiltons in 1890s.
1905: George Pilkington elected laymember of South Society of Artists, painting a part-time hobby. Became a civil-servant: private-secretary to Henry Burton, who was variously South African Minister of Finance and Minister of Railways and Harbours
1912-24; very keen yachtsman and trout-fisherman; edited `The Cape'.
1924: George Pilkington began a full-time painting career, devoting himself almost exclusively to marine subjects; according to dealer Ernest Lezard, his paintings caused a sensation when shown for the first time in Johannesburg; Lezard added that it became a Cape Town custom to include a picture by George Pilkington in every presentation made to visiting ships' captains (`Star' 15 May 1937).
1936: his painting Wet Towage was hung `on the line' at Royal Academy.
1941: George Pilkington completed two commissioned murals - Disembarkation at Cape Town, 19th Cententury and Embarking at Cape Town, 20th Century - for Cape Town Post Office; George Pilkington commissioned to paint marine subjects for WW2 War Art records.

Art Exhibitions
Group art exhibitions with South African Society of Artists, National Society of Artists; also in London - ROI, RBA and Royal Academy; numerous one-man art exhibitions in South Africa.
1941--45: Exhibitions of South African War Art.
1952: Van Riebeeck Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town.
1953: Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, Bulawayo.

Public Art Collections
South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Pretoria Art Museum; William Humphreys Gallery, Kmbly; Durban Art Gallery; Ann Bryant Gallery, East London; South African National War Museum, Johannesburg; South Africa House, London

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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