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Gerald Ryan
Queensland's Mystery Abstract Artist
 
 The Work of Gerald our Grandfather
 
It has only been recently that we realized that the Australian Art world considered our grandfather Queensland Mystery Artist.
asking for more information on him and his art work.
So this is to some what answer their questions.
 
 
Gerald was a fairly quiet man, who always painted,  
but it was nothing for him to spend two years on a project only to destroy it when finished because what he had put down, did not match the vision in his mind.
Much of what remains of Gerald's art work was saved by Gerald's son Trevor taking the art work to his home in Melbourne in the 1960's & 1970's.
 
On Trevor's death this remaining legacy of Gerald's art work was shared between Gerald's Daughter Beverley and Trevor's daughters Jennifer & Lesley
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Timeline of Gerald's Life and work
 
9 Feb 1903     Born  Bulimba, Brisbane Queensland to Irish parents Michael Ryan & Maria Bennett 
                    He has 2 sisters and 2 brothers and is the 2nd youngest in the family.
                    On his birth certificate name the given as Michael Ryan but it seems that his grandfather's name Gerald, is used by all of his family for him.
                    
 
 
Gerald ( on the left ) with his brother Jack ( John Francis Ryan)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 1915     He first appears in the paper due to an accident
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1924    He marries Dulcie Irene Lindsay at  Saint's Peter & Paul's Catholic Church Bulimba Queensland - his occupation is given as Commercial Artist ,
          and that he is living and working at Princess Street, Bulimba  
          He has given his name as  Michael Gerald Ryan on the marriage certificate
 
 Gerald & Dulcie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1925      Living & working as Commercial Artist at Bulimba Street, Bulimba, Queensland (Electoral roll) Note: Wife Dulcie is there
          He has given his name as Gerald Joseph Ryan he would continue to work under this name for the rest of his life.
 
1925    Dulcie & Gerald have a son Trevor Gerald Ryan
 
1926   

7 Dec 1926      Gerald is appointed a teaching position at the Ipswich Technical College - teaching Comerical Art  ( letter owned by Daughter Bev Bycroft)
 
1st Feb 1927    Gerald started teaching at Ipswich Technical College.
 
 
1928 - 1930 He is noted in the newspapers as attending a number of Art Exhibitions 
 
 
 
 Art Deco Vase
undated and unsigned
used by Gerald for holding his Paint brushes
owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1934    Dulcie & Gerald have a daughter Beverley Elaine Ryan
 
 
 
1936   Living & working as Commercial Artist at 290 Milton Road, Milton, Queensland (Electoral roll )  Note: Wife Dulcie is there
 
 

Primates 
painted in 1936
Watercolour
owned by Grand Daughter Lesley Bateup
















1937
 
Circus Men 
painted in 1937
Watercolour
owned by Grand Daughter Lesley Bateup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Men in the Rain
painted in 1937
Watercolour
owned by Grand Daughter Lesley Bateup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1937   Living & working as Commercial Artist at 290 Milton Road, Milton, Queensland (Electoral roll )  Note: Wife Dulcie is there

 

27 Oct 1937   He takes part in the Royal Art Society Jubilee exhibition

 
1938
 
 
 
 
Natives
painted in 1938
Watercolour
On the back of the painting are pencil sketches titled "Syntartism"
owned by Grand Daughter Lesley Bateup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feeding the Chickens
painted 1938  ( framing has covered the 1st part of the date)
Watercolour
Owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
9 Feb 1938   He takes part Exhibition of Queensland Artist at the Gainsborough Gallery

 
 
10 Oct 1938   He takes part in the Royal Queensland Art Society's 50 years of Art Exhibition
 
 
 
 
11 Oct 1939   He wins 1st Place in the Royal Queensland Art Society Exhibition

 
1942   Gerald's son Trevor enlists into the Air force at Woolloomooloo, NSW to go and serve in WW2 in New Guinea - he gives his residence at the time of enlistment as Redfern NSW.
 
1943        Living & working as Commercial Artist at 290 Milton Road, Milton, Queensland (Electoral roll )  Note: Wife Dulcie is not there 
 
1943      Dulcie & Gerald are living at 655 Dowling Street, East Sydney, NSW  (Electoral roll ) Gerald has given his occupation as ganger
           - Ganger = foreman of a gang of labourers - he was working at the Pyrex factory ( daughter Bev's recollections )
 
 
It was most likely during this time that Norman Lindsay wrote two letters on Gerald's art work
 
These letters had been for many years in the hands of  Gerald's children Trevor & Beverley
but they were lost by a family member and have only recently turned up in a 2011 auction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3 May 1944   He takes part in an Art Exhibition at the Macquarie Galleries, Sydney,  New South Wales
                  He participated with Ralph Balson, Grace Crowley and Frank Hinder in the seminal 1944 exhibition 'Constructive Paintings' at the Macquarie Galleries,
                  an exhibition that placed him at the forefront of art in Australia at this time.

 

 
 
1945   The Family has returned to Queensland
 
In the 1950's Gerald seems to retire from Public exhibitions and working as Commerical Artist,  this may be some what in part due to health problems of his wife Dulcie, who at this time is suffering with stomach cancer, she under goes a 11 hour operation which causes her hair to turn jet white.
Gerald continues to paint at home and has a art studio on the verander of his Windsor Ave Home
 
31 Windsor Ave - Gerald's art studio is on the right hand side verander of the house
His art studio is on the right hand side verander of the house  hidden behind the tree in the photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1950
  
The Tree
painted 1950
Watercolour
owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1954        Living at Windsor Ave, Wooloowin, Queensland – occupation given -  Process Worker  (Electoral roll ) Note: Wife Dulcie is there
 
1958        Living at 31 Windsor Ave, Wooloowin, Queensland – occupation given -  Process Worker  (Electoral roll ) Note: Wife Dulcie is there

 

 owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
Gerald & Dulcie at their daughter's Bev's wedding circa 1960
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1960's  - 1970's   It is during this period of time that Gerald's son Trevor takes a lot of Gerald's art work to his home in Melbourne, Victoria. 
 
 
 

1963   Living at 31 Windsor Ave, Wooloowin, Queensland – occupation given -  Process Worker  (Electoral roll ) Note: Wife Dulcie is there

 

 

1968   Living at 31 Windsor Ave, Wooloowin, Queensland – occupation given -  Process Worker  (Electoral roll ) Note: Wife Dulcie is there

 
 
1970's    Gerald comes to Melbourne for a holiday he brings the Rock Paintings & Geometric painting as gifts for his son Trevor
 
Painted Rock
Painted 12 / 10/ 70 ( the back of the rock ) unsigned
oils
Owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Painted Rock
undated & unsigned
oils
owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker

 

 
 
 
 
 
1972   Living at 31 Windsor Ave, Wooloowin, Queensland – occupation given -  Process Worker  (Electoral roll ) Note: Wife Dulcie is there
 
 
 
 
Painted Rock
undated & unsigned
oils
Owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Painted Rock
undated & unsigned
oils
Owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Shapes
undated & unsigned
oils
Owned by Grand Daughter Jennifer Baker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Late 1970's    Dulcie and Gerald sell their house in Windsor Ave and move to Tugan to be closer to their daughter Beverley
                    Gerald has developed cateracts and can no long see well enough to paint.
 
1977       Dulcie & Gerald are Living at Unit 2 / 482 Coolangatta Road , Tugan,  Queensland (Electoral roll )  Gerald has given his name as Michael Gerald Ryan  
 
1980      Dulcie & Gerald are Living at Unit 2 / 482 Coolangatta Road , Tugan,  Queensland (Electoral roll )  Gerald has given his name as Michael Gerald Ryan  
 
1982      Dulcie passes away at Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia
 
Gerald passes away at Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia  on 23rd July 1994 aged 91
according to death certificate from congestive heart failure at AMAROO nursing home at Tweed Heads
 
 
 
 
 
 

         Copyright 2012  Jennifer Baker - Gerald's Granddaughter