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Lister, William Lister (1859–1943)

Mr William Lister-Lister, 83, the Australian painter, of Redan Street, Mosman, was fatally injured by a taxi-cab driven by a woman in Military Road, near Spit Junction, Mosman, on Saturday.

His leg was broken and he suffered head injuries from which he died six hours later in hospital.

Mr. Lister-Lister who was born in Sydney was educated in England. As a boy he showed at once his love of painting. At 17 years of age he exhibited three watercolours at the Royal Scottish Academy.

His parents were not in favour of painting as a means of livelihood so he entered the College of Science and Mechanics at Glasgow and studied mechanical engineering for four years. During this time he joined the Mungo Art Club, Glasgow, as its youngest member. He went to sea for four years becoming chief engineer at the age of 25.

Later he started as a painter in London where he sold landscapes and seascapes. In 1888 he returned to Sydney after an absence of 20 years and he was placed on the council of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales the following year. He remained a vice-president for two years and in 1898 was elected president, a position he filled to the end of his life. In 1899 he was appointed by the New South Wales Government a member of the board of trustees of the National Art Gallery and in 1919 he was chosen a vice-president with Mr Henry Gorman.

Many of Mr Lister-Lister’s pictures are hung in the Sydney and other Australian Art Galleries, including those of Adelaide and Geelong. His painting ‘Ever Restless Sea’ is in the Sydney National Gallery and his painting of Canberra, executed in 1913 was bought by the Commonwealth Government. It won the prize for the best painting of the capital site.

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'Lister, William Lister (1859–1943)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 September 2020.

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