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Curriculum Vitae Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo
Below is a brief overview of the milestones of Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo's life.
You will also find a summary of his exhibitions - Over the years he had 27 works selected for the Archibald, Sulman and Wynne Prizes. Included here as well is a list of public galleries and museums in Australia that hold his works.
An extract from an exhibition catalogue of 1943 shows Dattilo-Rubbo's generosity in donating works for important causes.
Dattilo-Rubbo c 1910
Born June 22 in Naples, Italy, Antonio Salvatore Dattilo-Rubbo. Son of Luigi-Raffele and Raffaela Dattilo-Rubbo
1888 – 1889
Begins art studies at the Municipal School of Fine Arts in Rome. Gains Certificate
1889 – 1891
Completes military service
September: arrives in Sydney
Opens art school for drawing and painting in Australian Chambers, Rowe Street
1898 – 1919
Part-time art master at St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill
1898 – 1937
Art master at Scots College
Ad for his art school appears in the Art Society Catalogue with timetable
Elected member of the Council of the Art Society. Becomes instructor in painting at Art Society and holds position until 1928
1901 – 1902
Ad for art school appears in the Art Society Catalogue stating fees: £1.1.0 per quarter
Obtains British citizenship
December: Marries Mildred Jobson
1906 – 1907
Travels to London, Paris and Italy
1907 – 1909
Conducts weekly art lessons Cambridge School on Parramatta River, Hunters Hill. Florence Hooper, a former student, is principal
1907 – 1910
‘The Atelier’ Art Classes for Ladies and Gentlemen. Ad appears every year in the Royal Art Society Catalogue
1911 – 1915
Lives at North Sydney
September 11: son Sydney Rubbo born
Awarded James Fairfax Prize for Pencil Drawing
Challenges C.E.S. Tindall to a duel regarding the acceptance of ‘Down the Hill to Berry’s Bay’ by Roland Wakelin for the annual Royal Art Society exhibition
Moves to Osborne Road, Manly
Son Mark Anthony Rubbo born
Moves to 144 Addison Road, Manly
Member of the War Memorial Advisory Board
Speaks at opening of exhibition of colour-music paintings by Roy de Maistre and Roland Wakelin at Gayfield Shaw Gallery
Fellow of Royal Art Society, one of the first eight along with William Lister Lister, Charles Bryant, J.S. Watkins, Lawson Balfour, James R. Jackson, Sir John Langstaff and Margaret Preston
Member of the first Committee of Manly Art Gallery with Charles Bryant; is first to donate a painting to the collection Aboriginal Head
Moves to studio in Hudson House, 15 Bligh Street. Ad in Royal Art Society catalogue
1926 – 1939
Conducts weekly art classes at Rose Bay Convent
Moves from Manly to 45 Prince Albert Street, Mosman
July 18: Presented with Official Royal Art Society Diploma
Made Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy, conferring the title of Cavaliere
June 8: exhibition of students’ works
September 1: Son Mark, aged 16, dies of meningitis
Resigns from Royal Art Society and becomes member of the Society of Artists
Builds a studio adjoining his home in Mosman
Gives a collection of 100 paintings to Manly Art Gallery on the condition that room is built to house the works
Interned for a short period on the outbreak of World War II, because of ‘suspicion of disloyalty, I believe, through my title, and then a donation to an Italian club of one of my works and a monetary contribution towards expenses for furnishing it’ ( from a letter to the Secretary of the Manly Art Gallery)
Retires from Art School, hands over to Frances Ellis. Studio moves to 70 Pitt Street
Makes application to serve as war artist
Wife Mildred dies
Commissioned to paint posthumous portrait of Prime Minister John Curtin for Kings Hall at Parliament House in Canberra
Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo's work is represented in these public galleries and museums:
Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Manly, NSW, holds 130 works. See images of the works in The Collection
These galleries hold one or several works by Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo:
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney National Gallery of Australia, Canberra National Portrait Gallery, Canberra National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Howard Hinton Collection, Armidale, NSW University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW Ballarat Regional Art Gallery, VIC Benalla Art Gallery, VIC Albury Regional Gallery, NSW Wollongong City Art Gallery, NSW
National Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra holds this striking sculpture created in 1935 by Arthur Murch. It is exhibited in the gallery's new space.
Solo and group exhibitions of Dattilo-Rubbo's work
1901 Victorian Gold Jubilee, Bendigo 1912 James Fairfax Drawing Competition - First Prize awarded 1912-13 Salon des Artistes Professionels, Paris 1918 Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney 1919 Solo exhibition, Decoration Galleries, Melbourne 1919 Pictures of the Year, federal exhibition, Adelaide 1923 Australian Society of Artists in London 1930 International Art Centre of Roerich Museum, New York 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge Celebrations, Australian Painter Etchers' Society 1936 Manly Art Gallery 1938 150 Anniversary Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW 1949 Solo exhibition, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Proceeds of sales donated to Manly Art Gallery 1949 Solo exhibition, Moreton Galleries, Brisbane 1950 Society of Artists, David Jones Gallery, Sydney 1952 Mostre d'Oltremare, Naples 1954 Artists by Artists, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney 1955 Posthumous exhibition, organised by the Dante Alighieri Society and the Centro Italiano D'Arte, Bissietta Art Gallery 1974 135 Years of Australian Watercolours, Fremantle Arts Centre 1980 Retrospective Exhibition Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, Manly Art Gallery & Museum 1993 The Italian Connection, S.H. Ervin Gallery 1995 Cav. Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo from the Francis Ellis Collection, Boronia Art Gallery 2002 Dattilo-Rubbo Memorial Exhibition, Manly Art Gallery & Museum 2008 November: For Limited Release: the Best Paintings from the MAG&M Collection 2009 February: Exhibition for the launch of this website, Manly Art Gallery & Museum 2010 September: 80 Tales from the Vault: Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Manly Art Gallery & Museum.
For Limited Release: the Best Paintings from the Manly Art Gallery & Museum Collection. To name but a few artists in the show apart from Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo: his students Roy de Maistre, Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Preston, Roland Wakelin and Donald Friend; and masters such as Tom Roberts, Ethel Carrick Fox, Emanuel Phillips Fox, Rah Fizelle, Norman Lindsay, Ralph Balson and Euan McLeod.
Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo's work in the Archibald, Sulman and Wynne Prizes
Between 1924 and 1951, 27 paintings by Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo were exhibited in these prestigious art competitions, held annually by the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 1921.
His portraits were shown in 18 Archibald Prizes: in his first submission for 1924 he was represented three times, with a portrait of Mrs G.H. Taubman, a portrait of Nelson Illingworth and a self portrait.
In the Wynne prize for landscape, his works were shown three times (twice for 1944, one for 1946), and in the Sulman Prize, his genre paintings were exhibited six times (twice in the prizes for 1940, twice in 1944, and in 1946 and 1950).
Dattilo-Rubbo himself was the subject for two other artists' entries to the Archibald Prize: in 1935 Arthur J. Murch's portrait of Dattilo-Rubbo was exhibited, and in 1942 Frances D. Ellis' (his successor in his art school) portrait was shown.
Exhibitions as Fundraisers
Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo donated generously to causes that were important to him. The exhibition ‘Art’s Tribute to Red Cross’ was organised by ‘The Coin Catchers’ of the Red Cross Centre in 1943 and reveals that Dattilo-Rubbo was made an honorary life member of the Red Cross after World War I. He donated 50 works to this fundraiser, along with other artists such as Eric Langker, Alison Rehfisch, Henry Hanke, Tempe Manning, Elaine Haxton, John Allcott and Joshua Smith. Here is the introduction:
‘In presenting ‘Art’s Tribute to Red Cross’, we have only one apology to make and that to those artists whom we may have overlooked in our quest for pictures. The period for organising the exhibition, unfortunately, was all too short and was further curtailed by our being workaday people. Therefore, the absence of any artists from the list of exhibitors should not be taken to imply any more than the lack of opportunity to assist Red Cross.
We feel that our choice of title, ‘Art’s Tribute to Red Cross’ has been more than justified, for the response, both in numbers and quality of works donated, has been truly magnificent. It was indeed fortunate that a splendid nucleus should have been formed through the extreme generosity of Cav. A. Dattilo-Rubbo, who gave to our exhibition the balance of his life’s work. It was a gesture typical of one who, for his Red Cross efforts during World War I, was elected a Life Member of the Australian Red Cross Society.
The pictures donated were not subjected to the judgment of a Selection Committee, for it was felt that those whose love for their art was exceeded only by their love for their fellowmen would give to Red Cross works that were both representative and worthy. The exhibits bear testimony to the measure in which that confidence has been upheld.’
Copyright Manly Art Gallery & Museum 2008. Funded by the Gordon Darling Foundation. Created by Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants.