Walter Battiss
Name: Walter Battiss
Occupation: Teacher
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 6, 1906
Age: 114
Country: South Africa
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Walter Battiss

Walter Battiss was born on January 6, 1906 in South Africa (114 years old). Walter Battiss is a Teacher, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: South Africa. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


In 1948, he earned a bronze medal in Engravings and Etchings at the final art competition of the Olympic Games.

Net Worth 2020

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Before Fame

He worked as a clerk in the Magistrates Court in Rustenburg and later studied art at Witwatersrand Technical College.


Biography Timeline


Battiss was born into an English Methodist family in the Karoo town of Somerset East. He first became interested in archaeology and tribal art as a young boy after moving to Koffiefontein in 1917. In 1919 the Battiss family settled in Fauresmith where he completed his education, matriculating in 1923. In 1924 he became a clerk in the Magistrates Court in Rustenburg. His formal art studies started in 1929 at the Witwatersrand Technical College (drawing and painting), followed by the Johannesburg Training College (a Teacher's Diploma) and etching lessons. Battiss continued his studies while working as a magistrate's clerk, and finally obtained his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at University of South Africa at the age of 35.


Battiss was a founding member of the New Group, a loose friendship of recognized contemporary European and American artists. He was unique among them, in the sense that he was from what were then regarded as the colonies and in that he had not studied in either Europe or North America. In fact, in 1938 he visited Europe for the first time. The following year, he published his first book, The Amazing Bushman. His interest in rock art had a very profound impact on his ideas, regarding San painting as an important art form. He was also influenced by African cultural Ndebele beadwork and generally by pre-Islamic cultures and calligraphy.


In 1949 he befriended Picasso who would have an influence on his style.


Battiss published nine books, wrote many articles and founded the periodical "De Arte". He taught art at Pretoria Boys High School from 1936 for most of the next 30 years and at the Pretoria Art Centre, of which was the principal from 1953–58. He also taught at UNISA where he became Professor of Fine Art in 1964 and retired in 1971. In 1973 he was awarded a D.Litt. et Phil. (honoris causa) from UNISA.


He visited Greece in 1966-1968 and the Seychelles in 1972, which inspired his make-believe Fook Island.


In 1981 he donated all his work to the newly opened "Walter Battiss Museum" in his birthplace of Somerset East.


Walter Battiss died of a heart attack in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal on 20 August 1982.

South Africans including actress Janet Suzman, artist (and Battiss protégé) Norman Catherine, writer Esmé Berman and many others embraced the philosophy of Fook Island. The journalist Jani Allan interviewed Battiss in 1982 and also agreed to his request of becoming a 'resident' of the imaginary island.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Walter Battiss is 116 years, 7 months and 12 days old. Walter Battiss will celebrate 117th birthday on a Friday 6th of January 2023.

Find out about Walter Battiss birthday activities in timeline view here.

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