William T Cooper

Botanical art of the tropical rainforest

28 Aug 2021 –
13 Feb 2022

William T Cooper (1934–2015) was notable as a painter of birds, however he was also a masterful botanical artist, producing botanical illustrations of rainforest fruits and hundreds of drawings of plants that were produced opportunistically for potential use in paintings.

This exhibition brings together over 100 works, many of which have not been on public exhibition before, from private collections around Australia and the collections of the State Library of New South Wales and the National Library of Australia. To strengthen the educational component of the exhibition, many of the works in the exhibition will be displayed together with botanical specimens from the collection of the Australian Tropical Herbarium at James Cook University.

Image: William T Cooper, Victoria’s Riflebirds at Topaz (on Topaz Tamarind Synima macrophylla) (detail), 1993, synthetic polymer paint on canvas on board, Private collection, Hobart



A Cairns Art Gallery exhibition

Selected Works


From 17 December 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the Gallery.

The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.