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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

O'KEEFFE, Alfred Henry 1858–1941

O'KEEFFE, Alfred Henry 1858–1941

Born Bendigo, Australia: arrived Dunedin with his family 1862, his father a hotel keeper being drawn by the discovery of gold in Otago. Received his first drawing lessons at the Middle District School in Dunedin, afterwards at Dunedin School of Art, had lessons in figure drawing from L. W. Wilson and in 1893 announced intention to take pupils. Joined his father in the hotel business and this presumably made him able to go to Paris in 1894 to study after he had married and had children: was a fellow student of C. page 185 F. Goldie, studying under Bouguereau and Constant. Sent studies from Paris to be sold by art union in May 1895. Returned to New Zealand in June 1895, taught privately and from 1909 at the Dunedin School of Art. Was listed as hotelier in Outram 1897–1905. In early 1920s set up the Barn Studio with Mabel Hill. Known mainly for his flower pieces and vivid portraits. He wrote that the painter Peter Power always used Venetian red for flesh and did him a good turn by telling him that, for he did not find anything better except for light red which was “of the same family”. Exhibited: OAS 1886–97, 1902–27, was on Council until 1934; NZ and South Seas Ex Dunedin 1889–90; Otago Industrial Ex, 1898. Work included Centennial Ex Wtn 1940. Represented: all major New Zealand galleries, Turnbull and Hocken.