Artist's Biography

David Boyd was born in Melbourne, Victoria in 1924 and was known as a figurative painter, ceramic sculptor and potter. David was the brother of Arthur Boyd and the son of William Merric Boyd.


Pottery and painting within the family circle, and also the piano; entered the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music aged seventeen; Enlisted in the army and served in Australia 1942-1944; Studied at the National Gallery School under CRTS 1944-46; Started producing pottery in partnership with his wife Hermia 1948; Study tour to UK and Europe 1950-55; elected president of Contemporary Art Society, Victoria and councillor of the Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne 1960-62; Lived and worked in Rome and London 1962-68; Returned overseas to live in south of France 1970 and moved back to Australia in 1975.


Held over 40 major exhibitions throughout Australia and in the United Kingdom, France, United States of America and Hong Kong. David Boyd’s paintings are widely represented in public and private collections in Australia, America and England.

First showed his paintings with John Yule at Rowden White Library, University of Melbourne in 1944 and introduced The Explorer series at the Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Clune Galleries, Sydney 1958.

From then on had many show in UK, Europe, USA, Hong Kong and Australia. London galleries included Gallery One, Zwemmer, Commonwealth Institute, New Grafton, Clytie Jessop, Whitechapel and Woburn Abbey. His work was included in the Mertz collection of Australian contemporary art which opened at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC in June 1967. Shows around Australia were spread widely and included two galleries important in their day and now gone, Johnstone Galleries, Brisbane and South Yarra Galleries, Melbourne.

Major retrospective shows were held at VAS Gallery, Melbourne (sculpture) 1958; South Yarra Gallery , 1975; von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle 1957; Skinner Gallery, Perth 1974; Bonython Gallery, Sydney 1976; Albert Hall, Canberra 1979; Wagner Gallery, Sydney 1983. Solo shows in latter years were held at von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle and Wagner Gallery, Sydney.


In 1961, David Boyd was awarded First Prize for the Italian Government Art Scholarship for Australia.

In 2008, Boyd was awarded an OAM for his services to art, including developing new glazing techniques for ceramics.


Paintings at National Gallery, Canberra; Adelaide Teacher’s College, Adelaide; Monash University, Melbourne; Law Faculty, Melbourne University, Victoria; Newcastle City Art Gallery, NSW; Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT; Queensland University, Brisbane; Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide; Ballarat Art Gallery, Victoria; Law faculty, Sydney University (loaned by the artist); Harold Mertz Collection of Australian Painting, USA; Queensland Art Gallery; Lincolnshire and south Humberside Arts, Usher Gallery, Lincoln UK; Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne (gift by the artist); University of NSW; Sydney University Power Collection (gift by the artist); Bendigo Art Gallery; Graylands College, Perth, WA; Ceramic figures “Adam and Eve”, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and “St. Francis and the Birds”, Art Gallery of WA, Perth; Pottery at Department of Foreign Affairs, Canberra; Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Art Gallery of WA, Perth; Staffordshire Museum, Stoke-on-Trent; Queensland Art Gallery; Many Australian and overseas institutional and private collections.

David Boyd passed away on 10 November, 2011.