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BATTISS, Walter Whall

Born: 1906 01 06
Died: 1982 08 20


Walter Whall Battiss was a South African artist, who is generally considered to be the foremost South African abstract painter and known as the creator of the quirky "Fook Island" concept.

Buildings on this website that relate to Battiss:
House Battiss (Giotto's Hill)
Fook Island, a development of Town Houses built on the Walter Battiss property Giotto's Hill
Walter Battiss Art Museum - Private Hotel

Entry in SAWW 1976:126:

BATTISS, Walter, B.A. Fine Arts; Artist; Fellow of the Royal Soc. of Arts and Fellow of the International Instit. of Arts & Letters; Dr. of Literature & Philosophy (Honoris Causa) 12 May 1973

Univ. of S.A. Pro Arte Medal, 1956. Published 5 books on art, including "The Artists of the Rocks", and a portfolio of coloured woodcuts and drawings, "Fragments of Africa"; Paintings exhibited in Tate Gallery, Lond. Paris, Rome, Washington, etc.; Painting in S.A. Art Galleries, incl. Jhb. Art Gallery; Medal & 2 dip at Olympiad Int. Art Competition & Exhibition, Lon., 1948; Graphic Works in the Graphischesammlung Albertinia, Vienna, Austria, & Cincinnati Art Gallery, U.S.A.; Exhibited works on Int. Biennale, Venice; Invited 1952 to give a special course of lect. on "Art in S.A." at Lon. Univ.; S.A. Akademie gold medal for painting 1964; Professor of Fine Art, University of S.A., Pta. from Nov. 1964 to Dec, 1971; b. 6th Jan., 1906, Somerset East, Cape Province; education Gill College, Somerset East and Wits. University, Johannesburg; s.o. Walter Battiss; m. 1940, Grace Anderson, A.R.C.A., d.o. H. M. Anderson, 1 s. Prof of Fine Arts, Rhodes Univ., 1st July, 1959, to Dec., 1959. Rec.: Travel. Add.: "Giotto's Hill," 92 20th St., Menlo Park, Pta.

(Submitted by William Martinson)

Books citing BATTISS

SAWW & Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd. 1958. South African Who's Who 1958 : An illustrated biographical sketch book of South Africans with separate sections for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and South West Africa. Johannesburg: Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd. pp 111

SAWW & Wooten & Gibson. 1963. Who's Who of Southern Africa 1963. Johannesburg: Wooten & Gibson (Pty) Ltd. pp 128

SAWW. 1976. Who's Who of Southern Africa : including Mauritius and incorporating South African Who's Who and the Central African Who's Who. Johannesburg: The Argus Printing and Publishing Co.. pp 126

SAWW & Gibson, PJ (Managing Editor). 1965. Who's Who of southern Africa 1965. Johannesburg: Combined Publishers. pp 128

Schoonraad, Murray & Duminy, Pieter. 1981. Battiss 75. Pietermaritzburg: D & S Publishers. pp All