John Walker was born in Birmingham, and studied at the Birmingham School of Art, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, and the British School in Rome. A dedicated and influential teacher throughout his career, he has held professorships at the Royal College of Art in London and Yale University. He was artist-in-residence at Oxford University and Leeds University in the U.K. and at Monash University in Australia, and, from 1982 to 1986, he was dean of the School of Art, Victoria College of the Arts in Melbourne. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Tate Gallery and the British Museum, London; the Venice Biennale XXXVI; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980 and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design in 2002.