Brisbane School of Arts

Brisbane School of Arts

Name: Brisbane School of Arts

Group: Institutional Location

Type: School of Arts

Years at Location: 1878-Current

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In the days of rare public library access, Schools of Art played an important role in the cultural life of the city during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The city’s reading culture was largely fostered at the Brisbane School of Arts. Membership of the School of Arts steadily declined during the 1920s and 1930s.

Further research is underway.

Impact on Brisbane Society

Formerly North Brisbane School of Arts, the new Brisbane School of Arts began when the Ann Street building was opened on 17 May 1878. The former Servants Home was purchased by the trustees of the North Brisbane School of Arts for £1,000 in 1873. The School of Arts provided a library for members, conducted public lectures, and organised classes in a wide variety of subjects. The lending library was a major activity of the School of Arts. To meet the needs for technical education classes, a hall was added to the rear in 1884. This space was used for the Brisbane Technical College which operated under the auspices of the School of Arts until 1902 when the Queensland Government took responsibility for technical education.


Cleary, James T. The North Brisbane School of Arts, 1849-1899, The University of Queensland, Department of History, B.A. Hons. Thesis , 1967

Buckridge, Patrick; McKay, Belinda. By the Book: a Literary History of Queensland, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 2007.

Fitzgerald, Ross; Megarrity, Lyndon; Symons, David. Made in Queensland : a New History, Special Q150 commemorative edition, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2009.

Hatherell, William J. The Third Metropolis: Imagining Brisbane through Art and Literature, 1940-1970,University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 2007.

Hunter, Percy E. (Ebenezer). Brisbane School of Arts Centenary, 1849-1949, The School, Brisbane, 1949.

Johnston, W. (William) Ross. The Call of the Land: a History of Queensland to the Present Day, Jacaranda Wiley, Brisbane, 1982.

Image Citations

Photographer: orderinchaos []