The National Gallery Art School, School of Design began as a private fine arts school, enrolling its first students in June 1867
It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910. Luminaries include John Brack, Joan Lindsay, Frederick McCubbin, and Sidney Nolan. The National Gallery Art School ceased existence as an independent entity in 1973 when it became the foundation school of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). The VCA became an affiliated college of the University of Melbourne in July 1991.
Researchers should note that the School is most commonly referred to as the National Gallery Art School in scholarly texts as well as in archived administrative records held by the Public Record Office Victoria, but is also called the National Gallery School by Lucy Kerley. A past student, Kerley began writing a history of the School in 1931. She gathered the records of the National Gallery School and, along with her notes and ephemera, left them with the Library of the Victorian College of the Arts, (the successor to the National Gallery School). The bulk of this material was transferred to the University of Melbourne Archives in 2007.
Researchers will find a diverse range of material in the Lucy Kerley/National Gallery Art School collection which includes photographs, minutes, exhibition catalogues, artwork, ephemera and correspondence.
Rolls and registers of students at the School have been digitised and are available online:
Register of Students in Painting and Drawing Schools (1886-1925)
Roll of Art Students (1870-1883)
Roll of School of Painting (1886-1970)
Roll of School of Design (1886-1926)
Copies of the School’s student magazine “Colour on Parade", later known as "Daub" are also held at UMA.
The National Gallery Art School ceased existence as an independent entity in 1973 when it became the foundation school of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). The VCA became an affiliated college of the University of Melbourne in July 1991. After many iterations and affiliations, the VCA integrated into the University of Melbourne in 2007 as a separate faculty. UMA holds executive committee and VCA Council minutes, as well as various other committees and groups.
Nunn, C. (2018, October 2). The Beginnings of a Brilliant Career. Archives and Special Collections https://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/librarycollections/2018/10/02/the-beginnings-of-a-brilliant-career/
University of Melbourne Archives, (2018, October 2). ‘Daub’ 1947, 1948 and 1949: The Magazine Produced by Students of the National Gallery of Art School, Archives and Special Collections https://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/librarycollections/2018/10/02/daub-1947-1948-and-1949-the-magazine-produced-by-students-of-the-national-gallery-of-art-school/
Fairbanks, S. (2007). Art History at UMA. UMA Bulletin : News from the University of Melbourne Archives, 21. https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/116396