Austen A. Deans (1915-2011) New Zealand

Biographical Information

Descendant of an early Canterbury pioneering family, Austen Deans was born in 1915 in Christchurch and studied at the Canterbury School of Art.

In 1939 he volunteered for army service. He was in Crete with the 20th Battalion to Egypt when he was commissioned as a war artist.

Two days later he was wounded in the Battle of Crete and taken prisoner by the Germans. He remained in prisoner of war camps for the rest of the war.

In January 1947 Austen married Elizabeth Hutton, of Darfield, and the following year the couple and the first of their seven sons moved to London so Deans could further his painting studies.

They returned in 1950, settling on a Peel Forest farm.

Elizabeth Deans died in 2004, after 57 years of marriage.

Austen Deans married lifelong friend and widow Margaret Alpers at Riccarton House in 2009.

Deans was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to the arts in 1995 and twice won the Kelleher Art Award

Deans was an accomplished landscape painter whose work includes images from his time as a prisoner of war, portraits and water colours of Canterbury high country as well time in the Antartic .

Deans died in Christchurch in 2011 Edit or add to this biography

Market Information

Barley at Peel Forest
Highest Price:
Barley at Peel Forest
Oil on board, 79.5 x 120.5 cm
Art and Antiques, Watson's Auctioneers, Christchurch.
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 Total number soldNumber with imagesHighest priceRecent average price*
Paintings10078A$22,031 A$3,763
Works on Paper178135A$10,259 A$2,505
Prints & Graphics88A$840 N/A

* Calculated on sales over the last three years, where there are a sufficient number of sales over that period.

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