Inducted 26 November 2008
Robert Edden was born in Adamstown, Newcastle in 1927. In 1934, he moved with his family to Bellbird, where he enjoyed the study of wildlife in the Mount View area. He lived in Edden Street, ironically named after his grandfather, who was a Minister for Mines in the early 1900s. In his youth, he camped in the area’s old pioneer slab huts, which he later portrayed in his art works, along with his studies of animals and birds.
As an adult, with his own family, Robert returned to live in Newcastle in 1959.
Robert has held exhibitions of his work for over thirty years, throughout the Hunter Region and NSW, and three of his paintings are held in the Cessnock City Art collection.
It was Robert’s reputation as an Australian bird artist that gained him international recognition. The Australian Museum Ornithology Department asked him to submit works on Australian birdlife. The department was so impressed that three paintings of Newcastle birds, the Yellow Robin, Rufous Fantail and Variegated Wren, were printed in a run of 4000 copies. Robert also produced illustrations for two major publications on Australian bird life. In 'Birds of the Australian Rainforests', Robert illustrated more than 80 species.
In addition to his creativity as a painter, Robert was a talented and accomplished photographer.
Robert led a diverse life beyond that of artist. He was a businessman; had a keen interest in motorbikes, vintage cars and spear fishing and appeared on television.
Robert passed away in 2012.
Carmichael Park, Sparke Street bellbird