George's cover image
George

George BROWN AM

Year of Award: 1978 Award State: Tasmania Arts - Visual > General
To research biographical information relating to early Tasmanian artists and their art - UK, France, Norway, Germany
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George Deas Brown received a Fellowship that enabled him to spend ten weeks in England and Scotland, two weeks in France and three days in Darmstadt in Germany; it helped him in assembling comprehensive files with references on nearly 150 artists who painted in Tasmania before 1860; and it also helped him in finding previously unknown material and paintings. The Fellowship opened doors that would ordinarily have been closed to him.

He wrote the booklet Captain Charles Staniforth Hext, soldier and artist : with reproductions of his views in Van Diemen’s Land and elsewhere, which together with four of Hext’s prints was published in 1981 as a set by J. Walch and Sons Pty Ltd. Royalties of $1,000 were paid to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. His subsequent publication was the book Haughton Forrest, 1826-1925, which contains 36 colour prints and 70 black- and-white illustrations of Forrest’s work.

George was unique among Tasmanian recipients: 

  • He was the only Tasmanian Churchill Fellow to have seen Sir Winston Churchill: first in October 1943 at the funeral of the Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Dudley Pond; a second time in January 1944 from the bridge of HMS Brilliant when Churchill was standing on the starboard quarter of the battleship taking him home after the Tehran Conference; and a third time on VE Day 1945 when Churchill was standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the King and his family.
  • He was a captain in Battery Point when the Churchill Trust was established on Sunday 28 February 1965 and one of the 250,000 volunteers across Australia who knocked on about 3,000,000 doors in the one-day appeal.
  • He was the first to be awarded his Fellowship to pursue research outside his chosen profession. 

On completing his Fellowship, George gave back to the Association by giving generous help to new Fellows, serving as President of the Tasmanian Association and on the Committee for many years, and supporting the Association’s activities. He was awarded a well-deserved life membership of the Association and made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the Churchill Fellowship Association and other professional and community activities. He was also an honorary life member of the Battery Point Progress Association, the National Trust, the Naval Military and Airforce Club, the Tasmanian Club and the Mission to Seafarers – as well as giving of his time, joie de vivre and talents to many other organisations and to his many friends, family and acquaintances from around the world. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

Awards and Honours

  • 1997 awarded Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of service to the community, particularly through the Winston Churchill Fellows Association and the National Trust of TAS.
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