State Memorial Service for Dr John Olsen AO OBE

A State Memorial Service for Dr John Olsen AO OBE took place on Monday, 29 May 2023 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

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The State Memorial Service provided an opportunity for John Olsen’s family, friends, dignitaries, and members of the public to celebrate the life of the acclaimed artist following his death on April 11, aged 95.

The Australian and NSW governments jointly delivered the service in honour of the late legendary landscape painter, following the Olsen family's acceptance of state memorial offers from both governments.

Watch the Memorial

You can watch a replay of the memorial below.


1: 33:25

Dr John Olsen AO State Memorial Service


About Dr John Olsen AO OBE


Portrait of Dr John Olsen AO OBE

With a career spanning nearly seven decades, John Olsen had long been considered one of Australia’s most eminent and celebrated living artists.

In 1977, Olsen was appointed an OBE for his services to the arts and in 2001 was appointed an AO and awarded the Centenary Medal. He was awarded the Wynne Prize in 1969 and 1985, the Sir John Sulman Prize in 1989 and the Archibald Prize in 2005, amongst many other significant awards throughout his distinguished career. 

Olsen’s work is represented in all Australian state gallery collections, the National Gallery of Australia and regional galleries nationwide, as well as institutional, corporate and private collections internationally. 

He has also received an honorary doctorate of letters from both the University of NSW (in 2003) and the University of Newcastle (in 2011).

To find out more about John Olsen and his work, visit the Olsen Gallery website.

In lieu of flowers

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Art School.

Australian Government and NSW Government Coat of Arms (left aligned)
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