Ballarat Technical Art School
Ballarat Technical Art School was established in 1907 under the control of the Ballarat School of Mines
The 1908 Technical Art School Prospectus stated:
- The School Curriculum embraces a thorough training in Decorative and Pictorial Art, and includes Drawing, Painting, and Modelling from the Flat, from the Round, and from Life; Decorative Design and Pictorial Composition; Building Construction, Architectural Drawing and Design; Lettering, Scriptwriting, Graining and Marbling, Wood Carving, Repousse, Embossed Leatherwork, gesso and inlaid gesso work, Carpentry and Manual training, Millinery, Dresscutting, Dressmaking and Finishing.
Class lectures were delivered on practical, plane and solid geometry; Elements and Principles of Decorative Art; historic Ornament; Artistic Anatomy, etc.
The Ballarat Technical Art School played a very important part in the Art Education of theState and exercised a wide influence in Fine and Industrial Art. It was responsible for the training of a very large percentage of the Victorian Education Department's Art Teachers, a number becoming Principals of the leading Metropolitan and Regional Technical Art Schools. In the Fine Art and Commercial Art world a number of the leading Artists, such as Harold Herbert, Allan Bernaldo and Percy Trompf, were indebted to the School for the sound training they received.
The Victorian Government established a Commission to promote Technology and industrial instruction among working classes.
The School of Mines and Industries Ballarat Limited (the Institute) was established in 1870 to provide technical training for people working on the goldfields. (SMB Annual Report 1985; Beggs-Sunter: x) SMB was established through the initiatives of the Ballarat Mining Board which felt there was a need for such an institution because of the declining number of mine managers for the goldfields. (SMB Report 1987)
July: Ballarat Mechanics' Institute Art School established. (Beggs-Sunter: x; Hogan:3)
August: Ballarat East Library Art School established (Beggs-Sunter: x; Hogan:3)
First record of art classes being held at the Ballarat School of Mines. (Bowers:39)
Ballarat Technical Art School
Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute School of Design was closed down from the end of 1889 and students were directed to the closest technical school.
Demise of the Technological Commission. Technical schools came under the direction of the Minister of Education who published new regulations for Art Schools, which encouraged schools to improve their standards. The Ballarat Ladies Art Association formed as an adjunct to the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, the first women’s art organisation to be formed in Australia. It’s specific brief was to organise a student art exhibition at the end of each year, and to distribute prizes and scholarships to deserving students. (Hogan: 8)
Education Department intimated that only one school would be funded after 1907, so the Principals of the East and West Schools proposed a merger to their governing councils. An impasse was reached, and the Minister of Education asked The Ballarat School of Mines to take charge of the factions. Frederick Martell, having been involved with all three parties, guided negotiations. A new Art School as part of the Ballarat School of Mines was announced as from 14 June 1907.
Classes in Dressmaking and Woodworking were opened in Irwin's Buildings in Lydiard Street, Ballarat.
Ballarat Technical Art School established – taking over from the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery School. (SMB Report 1987; Beggs-Sunter: x)
May 1907 - Ballarat School of Mines took over control of Ballarat’s Art Schools at the invitation of the Minister of Public Instruction and amalgamated them into one administrative unit known as the Technical Art School of the School of Mines, Ballarat. (Perry)
Sept 1907 Herbert Henry Smith was appointed Principal of the Technical Art School of the Ballarat School of Mines. His tenure was long and not always a peaceful one. He resigned on 31 March 1940, and died on 21 February 1957 at Point Lonsdale.
Art school remained scattered in various locations. (Perry)
Foundation Stone for new art building laid by Premier of Victoria, W.A. Watt, MLA.
The Ballarat Technical Art School opened on the site of the former Ballarat Circuit Court building, (Bowers:40) The Government spent £12000 on the construction on the site of the original court house. (Hogan: 10)
23 July 1915 - Art School building opened by Premier Sir Alexander Peacock, MLA. The building made administration easier and saved on rent.
The Girls' Preparatory Technical School opened as a division of the Ballarat Technical School.
- The Principal of the Technical Art School (Mr HH Smith) states that application for admission to the Girls' Preparatory Technical School have quite come up to his expectation and it is anticipayted that the school will have a very successful opening next year. In order to give students who are undergoing examination for qualifying or merit certificates an opportunity of joining, it has been decided to extend the date for receiving applications.
1930 Reunion of Art School past students
Geoff Mainwaring appointed as head of the Art School.
1976 to 1980 - From 1976 to 1980 the Art School worked from the old RAAF base at Ballarat Airport. (Hogan: 11)
1978 Contract signed for the construction of the Mt Helen Art Building and Great Hall. (BCAE Annual Report 1978, p 22)
1980 Mt Helen Art School completed. From 1976 to 1980 they worked in the old RAAF base at Ballarat airport. (Hogan: 11)
University of Ballarat Art School moves to a new campus at Camp Street and is known as the Arts Academy. It was officially opened by the Hon. Steve Bracks, Premier of Victoria, in October 2002
Site and Building
In 1908 the Ballarat School of Mines Technical Art and Trade Schools operated from the following locations:-
- Sturt Street Branch - Sturt Street opposite the Ballarat Town Hall
- Barkley Street Branch - Ballarat East Public Library Building
- Lydiard Street North Branch 0 Irwin's Buildings
A custom built Art building was built on the site of the former Ballarat Circuit Court, in Lydiard Street South, Ballarat. This building opened in 1915.
The building can be described as federation-art deco in style. Featuring sandstone insertion with sandstone string coursing, the base of the building is rusticated sandstone. The relief stone panel on the front with the words "Technical Art School" features stone pilaster brackets and corbels. In the centre front can be seen rectangular sandstone pediment with decorative stonework incorporating the date of construction. The windows in the lower floor feature five supporting keystones whereas the upper windows have sandstone lintels. The building also features decorative cast iron downpipes.
The entrance on the northern side has attractive leadlight glazing in an art deco style. Above the door a miner's lamp and pick are featured in the design.
The building is functional in design with large metal windows in the south wall to ensure good light into the studios. The northern wall has standard double hung windows. According to the Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report of 1914 'the internal upholstering and fittings have all been carried out in Australian timbers, with Queensland maple largely used throughout.' Before this building was constructed art and craft classes were held in various buildings around Ballarat. The interior of the building features a carved wooden staircase and cast iron ceiling vents. The rear drawing studios can be made into one large studio by opening panelled timber doors. This opening features classical plaster pilasters with a pediment above.
This building is now the Gribble Building on the Federation University Australia SMB Campus.
The following are some commissions undertaken by the Ballarat Technical Art School.
World War One Honour Boards and Artwork
Amherst State School, Honor Book and Case.
Arnold State School
Avoca State School Honor Book and Case
Ballarat Arch of Victory
Herbert H. Smith of the Ballarat Technical Art School was responsible for the initial design of the Ballarat Arch of Victory.
- The students are busy making models and working out my design for a proposed entrance to the Avenue of Honor. It is intended to make a large scale model about 18' x 12' and place sane on view in a show window in Sturt Street about the middle of next month. The work has been undertaken at the request of Lucas and Co.
Ballarat Junior Technical School Honour Board, designed by H. H. Smith
Ballarat Lodge No. 114.
Ballarat Old Colonists' Club World War One Honour Board
Bangerang State School Honor Book
Batchica State School of Honor Book and Case.
Birragurra State School World War One Honour Board
Buninyong State School Honor Bok with photos and inscriptions.
Caulfield (Glenhuntley Road) School
- An honor board, designed by Mr H.H. Smith, Principal of the Ballarat Technical Art School, and made at Tunbridge's, was unveiled on Friday at the Caulfield (Glenhuntly Rd) School by the Minister for Education. The head teacher, writing to Mr Smith, says:- "I am greatly pleased with the artistic appearance of the board, and those who have had the privilege of seeing it are delighted with it." The writing was done by Mr Raisbeck, and the carving decoration by Miss Young, of the Art School.
Dunbulbalnic State School Honor Book and Case
Echuca High School oxidised copper memorial tablet
Elsternwick State School.
Grahamvale State School - Honor Board and Book
Grampians Secondary Schools Association Hockey Shield,
Grenville State School of Honor Book and Case.
Horsham High School of Honor Book and Case.
Inglewood School - Honor Book and Case.
Kenmare State School of Honor Book and Case.
Kerrie State School of Honor Book and Case.
Lydiard Street Methodist Church, Ballarat
Mi Mi State School of Honor Book and Case.
Mildura High School of Honor Book and Case.
Mount Mercer Soldiers' Memorial (four panels)
Mount Noorat State School Honor Book and Case
Noorimbie State School - Embossed leather Honor Book and mural case.
Pine Lodge Honor Roll
Skipton State School Honor Book and Case
Skipton Metal Panels (2)
Springfield State School of Honor Book and Case.
Stawell Hand wrought oxidised copper memorial tablet, honor book and case.
Sydney Sports Club World War One Honour Board
St Arnaud High School World War One Honour Board
The Education Department's Record of War Service Victoria 1914-1919 (book illustrations)
Urquhart Street State School, Ballarat
Wangaratta School - metal memorial tablet
- A book case and honor book has recently been executed by Ballarat Technical Art School for Wangaratta State school. Tho wood in the cabinet has been specially selected, and the title page of bhe book is unique, having been specially designed for this school.
Wellington School - Honor Book and Case.
Wendouree State School World War One Honour Board
Yulecart State School
Numerous Honor Books and Mural Cases for State Schools
Ararat High School Honor Certificate.
Collingwood Technical School President's Certificate.
Grampians Secondary Schools' Association 
- A design for a Sports Certificate, submitted from the School by request, has been accepted by the Grampians Secondary Schools Assn and 100 copies ordered.
Hansen Shield for competition among the Northern District High Schools
Herald Shield for perpetual competition at the Technical Schools' athletic meetings
Young Workers' Patriotic Guild
Ararat Honor Shield for Sport Competition.
Ballarat High School Football Shield.
Bendigo High School Swimming Shield.
Castlemaine High School
Mildura High School Sports Competition Shield - oxidised nickel mounted on silky oak.
Murrumbeena District Schools Association Sports Shield.
Northern District School Association Perpetual Cricket Competition (for Thompson and Co, Castlemaine.
- The Art Metal Working department has just completed to the order of Mr M. Hansen, Chief Inspector of Secondary School. Ed. Dept, a handsome handwrought shield in nickel silver mounted on Blackwwod to be presented for perpetual cricket competition to the Northern Districts High Schools Association, A photo of which is present for yours satisfaction.
Wimmera State School Athletics Association Sports Shield.
J.Y. McDonald Memorial Windows at St Andrew's Kirk, Ballarat.
Methodist Church, Sydney tendered by F.J. Tarrant
Murphy Memorial Windows at St Andrew's Kirk, Ballarat.
Peacock Hall, Ballarat Agricultural High School.
- At the request of the Department the students of the Art School are designing a series of stained glass windows for the Peacock Hall in the new Agricultural High School, same to be carried out locally with their assistance.
Soldier's Memorial Window at Lydiard Street Methodist Church.
Boort High School Merit Board
Two metal tablets for Castlemaine High School
Employers of BTAS Graduates
Clarke's Advertising Co., Ballarat
Green's Printing Co., Melbourne
Paton's Advertising Co.
George Patterson Pty Ltd., Melbourne
Myers Commercial Art Department