Bill Pidgeon’s career spanned from the late 1920s through to the 1970s. He started out in the newspaper industry and quickly forged a name in the local Sydney Press, known as “Wep”.
Working for Consolidated Press he became well known throughout Australia for his political cartoons, comic strips, illustrations and his covers for The Australian Women’s Weekly, which are now collectables today. However, Bill’s true passion was his painting and in January 1949 he resigned from Consolidated Press to concentrate on painting and earn an income from commisioned portraits. He ultimately went on to win Australia’s most prestigious prize for portraiture, The Archibald Prize, on three occassions. Only 5 other artists have exceeded this record, which he shares with Clifton Pugh.
Bill was never a commercial artist. He painted for the love of it and would rather give his works away than sell them. He never had a solo exhibition and only participated in a handful of group exhibitions. Consequently, not many works have changed hands and since his death; awareness of his name has slipped from the visibility of the modern art world.