William Knox D'Arcy: Art Collector and Patron, Dianne Byrne

Vol 44 no 4, Nov 2022
Article from Vol 44 no 4, Nov 2022

William Knox D'Arcy: Art Collector and Patron, Dianne Byrne


William Knox D’Arcy (1849–1917) is remembered today as an indefatigable adventurer, who through financial daring and
extraordinary good fortune, became the ‘founder’ of the modern oil industry in the Middle East. However, there is another
facet to his life, as the ex-Rockhampton solicitor who became an aspiring and influential art patron who applied his wealth
derived from the wildly profitable Mt Morgan gold mine to commission unique furnishings and a suite of famous William Morris
tapestries, and to assemble an eclectic collection of contemporary 19th-century British paintings. Dianne Byrne looks at

Knox D’Arcy as one of Australia’s major early connoisseurs and collectors and considers his now forgotten contribution to the
fledgling collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.

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