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Sold at Auction: Pixie O'Harris

(1903-1991)
Alias:Rhona Olive Harris
PainterIllustrator

Biography

Pixie O'Harris MBE (born Rhona Olive Harris; 15 October 1903 – 17 November 1991) was a Welsh-born Australian artist, newspaper, magazine and book illustrator, author, broadcaster, caricaturist and cartoonist, designer of book plates, sheet music covers and stationery, and children's hospital ward fairy-style mural painter. She became patron to Sydney's Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in 1977.


Rhona Olive Harris was the daughter of George Frederick Harris, chairman of the Royal Art Society Cardiff, Wales, and Rosetta Elizabeth Harris (née Lucas). She was the fifth of nine children.

She was educated at Sully village school and Allensbank Girls School in Cardiff. At age 14 she was a member of the South West Art Society. The Harris family migrated to Australia in 1920 and settled in Perth before moving to Sydney in 1921.

Disliking her given name Rhona, and having been dubbed "the Welsh pixie" on the boat over to Australia, she became known as "Pixie".

She originally produced her professional work under the name "Pixie O. Harris"; however, following a printer's error at the Sydney Morning Herald, which printed her name as "Pixie O'Harris", she permanently used that pseudonym.
Family

On 16 July 1928 she married Bruce Pratt, the son of eminent scholar and important Congregational minister, Frederick Vicary Pratt (1870–1932)[1] and Agnes Elizabeth Pratt (born 1872), née Waddell. He was also the editor of the Australian Encyclopaedia, and a younger brother of the artist Douglas Pratt. The couple had three daughters.

In 1953 Pixie O'Harris was awarded the Queen's Coronation Medal. In 1976 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[2] The following year she was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal.
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