Collie, George Joseph (1904–75), artist and teacher, was born 14 April 1904 at Greaghdrummit, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, the second child of George Collie, an Aberdeen-born chef, and Ellen Collie (née Donovan) of Carrickmacross. Brought up in Dublin, he was educated at St Kevin's School, Blackpitts. He went on to study at the RHA, where he first exhibited in 1922, and then at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin, where in 1927 he was awarded the Taylor scholarship for his social realist subject painting ‘The midday meal’. The judges, in referring to his work, which displayed ‘exceptional merit’, recommended that he receive a special grant for further study abroad. He won the Taylor award for the second time the following year, and went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London, and later in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi. After returning to Ireland he initially taught at the Metropolitan School of Art before opening his own school and studio in Schoolhouse Lane, off Molesworth St. in Dublin. He ran the school for thirty years and was still teaching until a few weeks before his death.
Best known as a portraitist in the academic style, he painted many leading figures in Irish society, among them Cardinal John D'Alton (qv), Thomas MacGreevy (qv), Éamon de Valera (qv), and Liam Cosgrave, and the group work ‘The first trustees of the Haverty bequest’ (1935–6). He also produced religious pieces, and received commissions from the church of St Brigid, in Killester, Co. Dublin, and Cavan cathedral. His stations of the cross appear in the cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, and Our Lady of the Rosary church in Harold's Cross, Dublin (executed 1937/8). Among his later genre paintings were ‘Blighted hopes’ (c.1933) and ‘This generation’ (c.1946). Collie was among those included in the Contemporary Irish Art exhibition at Aberystwyth in 1953, and in an exhibition of flower painting at the Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, in 1957. His level of submissions to RHA exhibitions was considerable; in the period 1922–75 he missed only the 1929 show. Elected ARHA in 1933, he received full membership nine years later.
In 1925 he married Ann Dunne of Dublin, with whom he had a family of three girls and four boys. Poor health forced him to resign his membership of the Arts Council in 1974, to which he had only recently been appointed. He died in Dublin the following year on 1 July 1975, and was buried at Deans Grange cemetery. His work is represented in, among other collections, the Ulster Museum, Dublin City Gallery (The Hugh Lane), the Irish Writers' Centre, and the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland in the City Gallery of Art, Limerick.