William Boissevain

William Boissevain Biography
William Boissevain Biography
William Biossevain (source: PerthNow)


William Boissevain (often known as Wim) was born in New York in 1927. He studied at L’Academie des Beaux Arts, Paris and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. He has lived in Australia since 1947.

William (Wim) Boissevain enjoys a world-wide reputation as one of Australia’s most distinguished artists. His paintings hang in galleries and many important corporate and private collections throughout the world. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978 for his services to the advancement of art.

Wim is the son of a Dutch diplomat was born in 1927 in New York, where he spent his childhood. He grew up moving around the world accompanying his parents to their various postings.

When William became an Australian citizen in 1949 he settled in Western Australia permanently having been seduced by the rich beauty of the Western Australian landscape.

He now lives in the beautiful hills area of Glen Forest.

Artistic style

Wim’s versatility and passion for colour inspire a vigorous treatment of his subject matter. Landscapes, Animals, Flowers and Nudes are brought to life by sublime nuances of design, decoration and sensuous line.

In his flower paintings, bunches of colour explode out of the canvas, whilst grace and tranquility emanate from his oil wash nudes.

His landscapes of the scrubby hills of W.A. also reflect great beauty. It is in the pursuit of harmony, that Boissevain captures our imaginations with the splendor of colour.


William Boissevain has won the following awards for his art:

  • Claude Hotchin Art Prize, 1959
  • Helena Rubenstein Prize for Portraiture, 1961
  • Perth Prize for Drawing International, Perth, Western Australia, 1971
  • Order of the British Empire, 1978

Special recognition

2005 – A portrait painted by William Boissevain of former Alcoa of Australia Chairman, Sir James Alexander Forrest has been included in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra


Previous William Boissevain exhibitions:

  • Skinner Gallery, Perth – 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971
  • Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney – 1976, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1995
  • Earl Gallery, Geelong, Victoria – 1977
  • Lister Gallery, Perth – 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984
  • Bay Gallery of Fine Art, Perth – 1989
  • Greenhill Gallery, Perth – 1994, 1997
  • Stafford Studios of Fine Art, Perth – 1993, 1996, 1998, 202, 204, 2006, 2007
  • Savill Galleries- 2001
  • Greythorn Galleries, Melbourne – 2007
  • Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney – 2004
  • Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney – 1998, 2000, 2008


William Boissevain collections may be found at the following locations:

  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • Art Gallery of Tasmania
  • Murdoch University
  • Curtin University of Technology
  • Premier’s Department – Western Australia
  • Rural and Industries Bank, Perth
  • Wesley College, Western Australia
  • Orion Bank, Hong Kong and London
  • Alcoa – Perth, Melbourne and U.S.A.

Private collections

William Boissevain private collections are held by:

  • H.R.H. The Prince of Wales
  • Baroness Bentinck, Switzerland
  • The Emir of Bahrain
  • Sir Vincent Fairfax
  • The Holmes Court Collection
  • Lady McMahon
  • Sir Val Duncan
  • The Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC
  • Bailleau Myer
  • Garrick Agnew
  • Daniel Hill
  • Kamahl
  • ABBA
  • David Addenbrooke
  • AMP Perth
  • Joondalup Development Corporation
  • CSBP
  • Burswood Management Corporation
  • Westfarmers Ltd, Perth


William Boissevain features in the following publications:

  • Art and Aria, WA Opera Company, Fine Arts W.A., 1977
  • Art and Australia Vol.26, No4, 1989
  • Art and Australia Vol.30, No4, 1993
  • Artists and Galleries of Australia and New Zealand, Max Germaine, Lansdowne, Melbourne, 1979
  • Artists and Galleries of Australia, Vol.1, 1990, Max Germaine, Craftsman House
  • Artlook – W.A. Arts Magazine, Jan 1980
  • Artlook – W.A. Arts Magazine, Murray Mason, 1983
  • Australian Art Auction Records 1991 – 1993, Edward D. Craig, 8th ed., Australian Art Sales,
  • 1993
  • Australian Artist, “The Essence of my style is the effect that colour has with line.” Maud Kemp, 7/87
  • Australian Home Journal, July 1968
  • Australian Paintings – Earl Gallery by Ross Graphics
  • Contemporary Western Australian Painters and Printmakers, Freemantle Arts Centre Press, 1979
  • Home Beautiful, May 1990
  • Home and Garden “Classic Designs”, 1985
  • “Killing Cats and Karma”, Maureen Addenbrooke,Mo Chrohide, George Mulgrave
  • The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend Magazine, 1990
  • Vogue Living, March 1990
  • W.A. Arts Volume 1, No2, May 1987
  • Westerly, University of W.A. Press Nos 2 and 3, 1962
  • Westerly, University of W.A. Press No4, 1963
  • The Western Mail Magazine, “Painting Partners”, Janine Cohen, January 31, 1987
  • Wim Boissevain Exhibition – 17-Minute Video On Line Video, 1992
  • Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Alan McCulloch, Hutchinson Australia, 1984
  • William Boissevain – A Passion for Colour, Beagle Press, Sydney, 1998


Image source: PerthNow – William Boissevain shares new exhibit on colourful life

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