Home > Artist Database > Bio-bibliographic Database > BILLER, Olive Allen

Artist Database

BILLER, Olive Allen

Ormskirk, England, 1879
Vancouver, British Columbia, 1957
Biography synopsis
The youngest of seven children, Olive Allen Biller was born on October 17, 1879 in Ormskirk, England. She attended the Slade School of Art in London (1900-1903) where she was instructed by Herbert McNair. Before immigrating to Canada, Allen's illustrations were published in at least ten books, and she wrote and illustrated stories for children's annuals and magazines such as Blackie's and Girl's Realm. In 1912, Allen immigrated to Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, to marry her long-time sweetheart Jack Biller. During the First World War she moved to England, returning to Canada when her husband was killed in 1916. She and her two children John and Jill then moved to James Island, British Columbia. During this time she published poems and wrote children's plays. Her landscape paintings were shown with the Vancouver Island Arts and Crafts Society. After relocating to Vancouver in 1934, she took classes at the newly opened BC College of Art, studying with FH Varley, Jock Macdonald and Tonschek Ustinov.
Media used
Book illustration
British Columbia College of Art, 1934c - ? (under FH Varley, Jock Macdonald, Tonschek Ustinov)
Island Arts and Crafts Society
File & Archive locations
University of British Columbia - Rare Books and Special Collections
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
University of Glasgow, UK - Whistler Correspondence
British Columbia Archives

Writings about
Romkey, Sarah. "The Olive Allen Biller Collection" Vancouver: UBC Library Rare Books and Special Collections, 2007.
Swallow, Derek. "Olive Allen Biller (1879-1957): Painter, Illustrator, Writer" ?.

Writings by
Biller, Olive. Prairie Volume 1 Unpublished (1917-1919), ?.
Biller, Olive. "Weekly News From James." Sidney Review British Columbia: 06Nov. 1924: 1.
Biller, Olive. "Weekly News From James." Sidney Review British Columbia: 01Sept. 1921: 1.
Biller, Olive Allen. "Junk From James [Ode to Wong]." Sidney Review 13 Jul. 1922: 5.

Search by: