George Campbell RHA RUA

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George Campbell RHA RUA

George Campbell was born in Arklow, County Wicklow. He attended Masonic Orphan Boys’ School in Dublin after his father died, when Campbell was eight years old. He later moved to Belfast to live with his mother, Gretta Bowen, and their family. He started painting in 1941, during which he was working in an aircraft factory at the time of the Belfast Blitz. Virtually self-taught, he eventually decided to adopt painting as his profession.

Campbell was a one of the founders of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1943, and in 1944, he held a joint exhibition at the Mol Gallery with his brother, Arthur Campbell. He exhibited alongside Gerard Dillon at John Lamb’s gallery in Portadown in 1944, going on to have his first of many exhibitions at Victor Waddington’s gallery in 1946. He first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1947, appointed an associate in 1954, and became a full member in 1964.

Campbell first visited Spain in 1951, returning nearly every year since then, recording numerous paintings of local Spanish life. Recognised for his love of Spanish life and culture, Campbell was appointed a Knight Commander by the Spanish government.

Campbell passed away in Dublin in 1979. The George Campbell Memorial Travel Award was introduced to acknowledge the culture connections he cultivated between Spain and Ireland.

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