Abdullah Ariff


1. Name: Abdullah Ariff

2. Occupation: Art teacher, Water colour artist, Exhibitor

3. Date and place of birth: June 15, 1905, Penang

4. Date of deceased: 1962

5. Contributions:

  1. First Asian member of Penang Impressionist Society (1932-1941)
  2. Organiser and instructor of Anglo-Chinese School Art Club, Penang (1932-1941)
  3. A.R.P. artist (1940-1941)
  4. Chairman, Penang Teachers’ Union
  5. Designer, art editor of various magazines, judge of children’s art exhibition
  6. Committee member of British Arts Council, Penang (1954)
  7. Cartoonist at The Straits Echo (1954)
  8. Held one-man show at North Carolina and the Mint Museum of Art at Charlotte, New York, U.S.A. (1954)
  9. Participated in the United Society of Artists group exhibition at the galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists, London (1955)
  10. Served as a city councilor (1955)
  11. Executive member of Penang UMNO (1955)
  12. Committee member of Employment Exchange Service, Penang (1955)
  13. Established Ariff Advertising Agency (1955)
  14. Committee member for association for Prevention of Tuberculosis (1955-1957)
  15. Took part in “Le Salon” of the Society of French Artist at the galleries at Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees, France (1956)
  16. His painting was chosen as a personal gift to be presented to Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister on the occasion of the Merdeka (Independence) celebrations (1957)
  17. Exhibited paintings in the US (early 1959)


6. Honours and Awards:

  1. Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  2. Had a road named after him (Jalan Abdullah Ariff)



Victor J. Morais (Ed.) (1959). The Leaders of Malaya and Who’s Who 1959-1960. Singapore: Fisher



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