Ray  Crooke

Photo by Jane Dempster - The Australian

Ray Crooke

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Curriculum vitae

Biography 

1922 Born in Melbourne, Victoria
1937-39 Studied at Swinburne Technical College
1940-44 Enlisted in the army, serving in the Mornington Peninsula, WA, Townsville and Cape York. Lived for a period on Thursday Island. Worked at map making. Studied drawing by correspondence with Douglas Dundas through East Sydney Technical College
1944 Lived in Borneo, then returned to Melbourne
1946-48 Completed art studies at Swinburne Technical College
1949 Moved to Thursday Island, exploring the Barrier Reef and Islands, returning to Melbourne in 1950
1950 Married June Bethel. Lived in Cairns and Thursday Island
1955-60 Returned to Melbourne to prove himself as a painter. Held several successful exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Held teaching posts at Swinburne and Ferntree Gully Junior Technical Colleges.
1961 Returned to Cairns to paint full-time, living in the picturesque beach village Yorkeys Knob
1961-70 Painting trips throughout Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country, Central Queensland, WA, New Guinea, Fiji and Tahiti
1965 Lived in Caloundra, north of Brisbane
1968 Moved to Sydney
1969 Awarded the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1971 Visited Kimberley Region in WA
1974, 75 Visited London, Paris, Madrid, Toledo, Venice, Rome, with tours of the European galleries
1976 Returned to North Queensland, living in Cairns
1981 Travelled to Europe (France, Italy, Amsterdam)
1983 Travelled to London, Madrid, North England, Ireland
1985 Visited Hawaii
1986-87 Painting trips to Cape York Peninsula and Fiji
1988 Travelled to London, North England, Ireland, Italy
1989 Painting trip to Darwin and Kakadu. Moved to property at Kuranda near Cairns
1990-92 Lived in North Queensland. Annual painting trips to Fiji and Sydney
1993 Awarded Member of the Order of Australia for services to the visual arts, in particular landscape painting
1995 Donated his collection of works by Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Margaret Olley and Arthur Boyd to the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
1996 Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University, Brisbane. Moved to Cairns

Selected Exhibitions

1948 Paintings, Drawings and Etchings by Ray Crooke, Kosminsky Gallery, Melbourne
1949 Ray Crooke, Joseph Greenberg, Georges Gallery, Melbourne
1957 Ray Crooke, Kosminsky Gallery, Melbourne
1958 Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1959 Third Anniversary Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1960 Oil Paintings by Ray Crooke, Terry Clune Galleries, Sydney; Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth; Raymond Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1961 Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Raymond Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1962 Ray Crooke: Painting of North Queensland, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Bonython Art Gallery, Adelaide
1963 Australian Painting Today, toured Australia, and Tate Gallery, London; Paintings by Ray Crooke, Arts Council of Australia, Canberra; Group Exhibition, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke: Paintings 1962-63, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Group Exhibition, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
1964 Ray Crooke: Paintings and Drawings, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Commonwealth Institute Galleries, London; Ray Crooke: Paintings of New Guinea, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Bonython Gallery, Adelaide
1965 Ray Crooke, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke - Recent Paintings, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke: Studies for the Stations of the Cross, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
1966 Recent and Early Works by Ray Crooke, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney; Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1967 Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth; paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1968 Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1969 Ray Crooke: Exhibition of paintings of the NorthWest, Western Australia, Skinner Galleries, Perth
1970 Archibald, Wynne, Pring and Sulman Prizes, AGNSW, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke: Recent Paintings and Prints, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; The Palmer River Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke: The Yasawas Paintings, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1972 Ray Crooke retrospective exhibition, Adelaide Festival of Arts, John Martin and Co, Adelaide; Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Canberra; Tahiti: Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Tahiti: Paintings and Drawings b Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1973 Ray Crooke, Artarmon Galleries, Sydney; Paintings by Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth
1974 Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Leicester Galleries, London
1976 Paintings by Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Canberra; Recent Paintings by Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Exhibition of Paintings by Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
1978 Recent Works by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1979 Ray Crooke: The Islands and North Queensland. Painting, Memories and Records, Philip Bacon Galleries, Cintra House Galleries, Brisbane
1980 An Exhibition of Paintings of Sydney Harbour by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney; Blake Prize, Commonwealth Bank, Sydney
1981 Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1982 North Queensland: Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Sydney; Group Exhibition, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Upstairs Gallery, Cairns; Archibald, Wynne, Pring and Sulman Prizes, AGNSW, Sydney
1983 Ray Crooke, David Dridan: Australian Landscapes, Thos. Agnew and Sons, London
1984 Ray Crooke: Paintings of the Tropics, Solander Galleries, Canberra; Diana Crooke and Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Paintings of Fiji by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney; Aspects of Australian Figurative Painting 1942 - 1962, The Power Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney
1985 Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
1986 Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1988 Ray Crooke, Diana Crooke: Paintings, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke: North of Capricorn, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; Ray Crooke: Recent Paintings, Thos. Agnew and Sons, London; Ray Crooke: Recent Works, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1989 Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Perth
1990 Ray Crooke: Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Adelaide Festival of Arts Exhibition, Carrick Hill, Adelaide
1991 Diverse Visions: Twelve Australian Mid to Late Career Artists, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
1993 Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
1994 Ray Crooke: The Islands, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1995 Ray Crooke: Two Islands, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; A Time Remembered: Art in Brisbane 1950 - 1975, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1996 The View From Here: Six Kuranda Artists, Cairns Regional Gallery
1997-98 Retrospective Exhibition, North of Capricorn: The Art of Ray Crooke, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville; touring Cairns, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Campbelltown, Canberra and Melbourne
1997 Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide and Perth, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney
1998 von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, Customs House Gallery, Brisbane, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, 1998 Mombasa, Brisbane
1999 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2000 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2001 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2002 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, Savill Galleries, Sydney
2003 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2005 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2006 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2007 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, Savill Galleries, Sydney
2009 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane

Awards

1969 Archibald Prize
1993 Member of the Order of Australia
1996 Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University, Brisbane

Collections

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane
Reserve Bank of Australia
Fairfax Collection
Vatican Collection, Rome
Numerous private collections in Australia and overseas

Sources:

Sue Smith, 'North of Capricorn: The Art of Ray Crooke', Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, 1997
'Ray Crooke', exhibition catalogue, Greenhill Galleries, Perth, 9-30 Sept, 1997

Biographical Details:

Ray Crooke was born in Auburn, Victoria in 1922. Throughout the majority of his adult life he has lived and worked in Northern Queensland, and travelled extensively throughout Australia, Torres Strait and Pacific regions. His powerful imagery and vibrant colours have made Crooke one of Australia's most highly regarded artists.

Crooke first encountered the landscape as a young man enlisted in the army, where he travelled from Western Australia to Townsville, through Cape York Peninsula and the Atherton Tableland to Chillagoe and to Thursday Island, where he worked as a map-maker. These initial observations of vegetation, climate, hue and light underpinned his techniques as a landscape painter, and paved a way for many paintings in the 1960s and 70s.

'It takes time, often decades to absorb something of the essence of a place', writes Gavin Wilson in Encounters with Country, Landscapes of Ray Crooke, and Crooke's paintings have indeed immerged from an intense observational enquiry.

Ray Crooke is an avid drawer, recording ink, pen and watercolour sketches of his observations in notebooks. From these personal recordings he develops ideas and composition for the paintings.

Although Ray Crooke has been continually painting the Australian landscape since the early 1950s, he is perhaps best known for his life long affiliation with the Pacific and Fijian Islands. Since the late 1960s his images of the tropical north of Australia and the Pacific islands have enticed and enchanted viewers. Crooke continues to develop paintings from frequent trips to Fiji and to this day still travels to Fiji with his wife June.

Crooke was awarded an honorary doctorate and was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for his contribution to Australian art. Crooke has also been the recipient of several notable awards. He won the Archibald prize in 1969 for his portrait of the writer, George Johnston. His work is represented by all state galleries, many regional galleries and the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Ray Crooke was honoured by a national touring retrospective of his work in 1997-98. Savill galleries held a major exhibition of Crooke's work in 2006, an exhibition that corresponded with a regional touring exhibition of his landscape paintings from the 1950s to 2004.

Ray Crooke

Curriculum vitae

Biography 

1922 Born in Melbourne, Victoria
1937-39 Studied at Swinburne Technical College
1940-44 Enlisted in the army, serving in the Mornington Peninsula, WA, Townsville and Cape York. Lived for a period on Thursday Island. Worked at map making. Studied drawing by correspondence with Douglas Dundas through East Sydney Technical College
1944 Lived in Borneo, then returned to Melbourne
1946-48 Completed art studies at Swinburne Technical College
1949 Moved to Thursday Island, exploring the Barrier Reef and Islands, returning to Melbourne in 1950
1950 Married June Bethel. Lived in Cairns and Thursday Island
1955-60 Returned to Melbourne to prove himself as a painter. Held several successful exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Held teaching posts at Swinburne and Ferntree Gully Junior Technical Colleges.
1961 Returned to Cairns to paint full-time, living in the picturesque beach village Yorkeys Knob
1961-70 Painting trips throughout Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country, Central Queensland, WA, New Guinea, Fiji and Tahiti
1965 Lived in Caloundra, north of Brisbane
1968 Moved to Sydney
1969 Awarded the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1971 Visited Kimberley Region in WA
1974, 75 Visited London, Paris, Madrid, Toledo, Venice, Rome, with tours of the European galleries
1976 Returned to North Queensland, living in Cairns
1981 Travelled to Europe (France, Italy, Amsterdam)
1983 Travelled to London, Madrid, North England, Ireland
1985 Visited Hawaii
1986-87 Painting trips to Cape York Peninsula and Fiji
1988 Travelled to London, North England, Ireland, Italy
1989 Painting trip to Darwin and Kakadu. Moved to property at Kuranda near Cairns
1990-92 Lived in North Queensland. Annual painting trips to Fiji and Sydney
1993 Awarded Member of the Order of Australia for services to the visual arts, in particular landscape painting
1995 Donated his collection of works by Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Margaret Olley and Arthur Boyd to the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
1996 Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University, Brisbane. Moved to Cairns

Selected Exhibitions

1948 Paintings, Drawings and Etchings by Ray Crooke, Kosminsky Gallery, Melbourne
1949 Ray Crooke, Joseph Greenberg, Georges Gallery, Melbourne
1957 Ray Crooke, Kosminsky Gallery, Melbourne
1958 Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1959 Third Anniversary Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1960 Oil Paintings by Ray Crooke, Terry Clune Galleries, Sydney; Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth; Raymond Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1961 Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Raymond Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1962 Ray Crooke: Painting of North Queensland, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Bonython Art Gallery, Adelaide
1963 Australian Painting Today, toured Australia, and Tate Gallery, London; Paintings by Ray Crooke, Arts Council of Australia, Canberra; Group Exhibition, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke: Paintings 1962-63, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Group Exhibition, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
1964 Ray Crooke: Paintings and Drawings, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Commonwealth Institute Galleries, London; Ray Crooke: Paintings of New Guinea, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Bonython Gallery, Adelaide
1965 Ray Crooke, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke - Recent Paintings, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke: Studies for the Stations of the Cross, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
1966 Recent and Early Works by Ray Crooke, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney; Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1967 Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth; paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1968 Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1969 Ray Crooke: Exhibition of paintings of the NorthWest, Western Australia, Skinner Galleries, Perth
1970 Archibald, Wynne, Pring and Sulman Prizes, AGNSW, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke: Recent Paintings and Prints, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; The Palmer River Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke: The Yasawas Paintings, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1972 Ray Crooke retrospective exhibition, Adelaide Festival of Arts, John Martin and Co, Adelaide; Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Canberra; Tahiti: Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane; Tahiti: Paintings and Drawings b Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1973 Ray Crooke, Artarmon Galleries, Sydney; Paintings by Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke, Skinner Galleries, Perth
1974 Paintings by Ray Crooke, The Leicester Galleries, London
1976 Paintings by Ray Crooke, Macquarie Galleries, Canberra; Recent Paintings by Ray Crooke, Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Exhibition of Paintings by Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
1978 Recent Works by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1979 Ray Crooke: The Islands and North Queensland. Painting, Memories and Records, Philip Bacon Galleries, Cintra House Galleries, Brisbane
1980 An Exhibition of Paintings of Sydney Harbour by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney; Blake Prize, Commonwealth Bank, Sydney
1981 Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1982 North Queensland: Paintings and Drawings by Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Sydney; Group Exhibition, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney; Ray Crooke, Upstairs Gallery, Cairns; Archibald, Wynne, Pring and Sulman Prizes, AGNSW, Sydney
1983 Ray Crooke, David Dridan: Australian Landscapes, Thos. Agnew and Sons, London
1984 Ray Crooke: Paintings of the Tropics, Solander Galleries, Canberra; Diana Crooke and Ray Crooke, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Paintings of Fiji by Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney; Aspects of Australian Figurative Painting 1942 - 1962, The Power Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney
1985 Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
1986 Ray Crooke, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1988 Ray Crooke, Diana Crooke: Paintings, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle; Ray Crooke: North of Capricorn, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; Ray Crooke: Recent Paintings, Thos. Agnew and Sons, London; Ray Crooke: Recent Works, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1989 Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Perth
1990 Ray Crooke: Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Adelaide Festival of Arts Exhibition, Carrick Hill, Adelaide
1991 Diverse Visions: Twelve Australian Mid to Late Career Artists, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Ray Crooke, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
1993 Ray Crooke, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
1994 Ray Crooke: The Islands, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1995 Ray Crooke: Two Islands, Phillip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; A Time Remembered: Art in Brisbane 1950 - 1975, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1996 The View From Here: Six Kuranda Artists, Cairns Regional Gallery
1997-98 Retrospective Exhibition, North of Capricorn: The Art of Ray Crooke, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville; touring Cairns, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Campbelltown, Canberra and Melbourne
1997 Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide and Perth, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney
1998 von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, Customs House Gallery, Brisbane, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, 1998 Mombasa, Brisbane
1999 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2000 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2001 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2002 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, Savill Galleries, Sydney
2003 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2005 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2006 Savill Galleries, Sydney
2007 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, Savill Galleries, Sydney
2009 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane

Awards

1969 Archibald Prize
1993 Member of the Order of Australia
1996 Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University, Brisbane

Collections

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane
Reserve Bank of Australia
Fairfax Collection
Vatican Collection, Rome
Numerous private collections in Australia and overseas

Sources:

Sue Smith, 'North of Capricorn: The Art of Ray Crooke', Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, 1997
'Ray Crooke', exhibition catalogue, Greenhill Galleries, Perth, 9-30 Sept, 1997

Biographical Details:

Ray Crooke was born in Auburn, Victoria in 1922. Throughout the majority of his adult life he has lived and worked in Northern Queensland, and travelled extensively throughout Australia, Torres Strait and Pacific regions. His powerful imagery and vibrant colours have made Crooke one of Australia's most highly regarded artists.

Crooke first encountered the landscape as a young man enlisted in the army, where he travelled from Western Australia to Townsville, through Cape York Peninsula and the Atherton Tableland to Chillagoe and to Thursday Island, where he worked as a map-maker. These initial observations of vegetation, climate, hue and light underpinned his techniques as a landscape painter, and paved a way for many paintings in the 1960s and 70s.

'It takes time, often decades to absorb something of the essence of a place', writes Gavin Wilson in Encounters with Country, Landscapes of Ray Crooke, and Crooke's paintings have indeed immerged from an intense observational enquiry.

Ray Crooke is an avid drawer, recording ink, pen and watercolour sketches of his observations in notebooks. From these personal recordings he develops ideas and composition for the paintings.

Although Ray Crooke has been continually painting the Australian landscape since the early 1950s, he is perhaps best known for his life long affiliation with the Pacific and Fijian Islands. Since the late 1960s his images of the tropical north of Australia and the Pacific islands have enticed and enchanted viewers. Crooke continues to develop paintings from frequent trips to Fiji and to this day still travels to Fiji with his wife June.

Crooke was awarded an honorary doctorate and was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for his contribution to Australian art. Crooke has also been the recipient of several notable awards. He won the Archibald prize in 1969 for his portrait of the writer, George Johnston. His work is represented by all state galleries, many regional galleries and the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Ray Crooke was honoured by a national touring retrospective of his work in 1997-98. Savill galleries held a major exhibition of Crooke's work in 2006, an exhibition that corresponded with a regional touring exhibition of his landscape paintings from the 1950s to 2004.