Australian landscape artist dies aged 102

A NOTED Australian landscape artist with strong connections in the Canberra region died on Sunday in a Melbourne hospital at the age of 102. 

The late Leonard Long, photo RAY McJANNETT

The late Leonard Long. Photo by Ray McJannett

In 2011, Leonard Long celebrated his centenary with a retrospective exhibition, which included 33 new works painted at the age of 99, curated by his nephew, Kim Nelson at his studio gallery in Yass.  

Long was renowned for capturing the essence of the Australian outback and in 1993, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal “for service to the arts as a painter of Australian landscapes”.

Born the son of a baker in 1911, Long was raised in Mittagong and painted his first painting at the age of 16. He started his working life as a watch-maker in Bowral, later moving to Nowra for work.

In 1934 Long and his wife Mary settled in Nowra. After returning from service during World War II as a precision instrument maker, he sold his watch-making business to his partner and began full-time painting in 1955.

He had a profound connection with the Wee Jasper district near Canberra where he made many friends and returned to paint throughout his life.

Throughout his lengthy career, he held many successful solo exhibitions and travelled both within Australia and overseas.

His first overseas trip was sponsored by the American millionaire John Galvin. He had known and painted with many Australian artists including Albert Namatjira, Will Ashton, Norman Lindsay and Robert Johnson.

Long’s work can be found in collections such as The Art Gallery of NSW, The Howard Hinton Collection Bunbury WA, The National Gallery Kuala Lumpur, The Rockhampton Art Gallery Qld, The Dunedin Art Gallery NZ, The Benalla Art Gallery Vic, The Broken Hill Art Gallery NSW and in numerous commercial and private collections.

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