19-02-1874: The Hotham (North Melbourne) School of Art.

In 1873 the Hotham School of Art[1] has been established and operates from premises in Chetwynd Street North Melbourne. Prominent figures from the stained glass firm Ferguson & Urie are involved in its inception.

Ferguson & Urie’s senior stained glass artist, David Relph Drape (1821-1882), lends his expertise as a teacher in the field of “Ornamental and Figure Drawing” as well as being a member of the Board of Advice. The principals of the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company, James Ferguson (1818-1894) and James Urie (1828-1890) are also members of the Board of Advice. In 1877 the school moved to more suitable accommodation within the North Melbourne Town hall and at that time maintained an average of 95 scholars during the terms[2].

In 1877, Drape’s eldest sons, Isaac Selby Drape (1866-1916) and John Campbell Drape (1866-1920), are mentioned amongst the recipients of prizes in the category of “Ornamental Outline”[3]. Neither continued a career in art.

In 1879, Ferguson & Urie apprentice Frank Clifford Lording (1860-1944) was awarded a prize as a senior student in the category of “Ornamental Shaded”[4]. After the closure of Ferguson & Urie in 1899, Lording joined another fellow employee of Ferguson & Urie named Charles William Hardess (1858-1949) to form ‘Hardess & Lording’ as lead-lighters. Hardess’s father, George Matthew Hardess, was also treasurer of the Hotham School of Art and Chairman of the Board of Advice in 1874[5].

In 1883, Ferguson & Urie apprentice George James Coates (1869-1930), was awarded a prize in the senior class for Landscape drawing[6]. Coates was apprenticed to Ferguson & Urie at the age of 15 and later became an accomplished artist in his own right as well the unofficial war artist to the Australian Government during WW1.

The photos of Frank Clifford Lording, Charles William Hardess and George James Coates appear amongst the photo collage of the employees created for the company dinner held at the North Melbourne Mechanics Institute on the 22nd of June 1887.

Principal partner in the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company, James Urie, continued the promotion of the arts as a founder and committee member of the Flemington and Kensington School of Art founded in 1884[7].

HOTHAM SCHOOL OF ART 01a

Ferguson & Urie members.
Sepia photos dated June 1887, photo of Drape circa late 1870’s.


North Melboure Advertiser, Vic, Thursday 19th February 1874, page 3.

“Under the Auspices of the Commission for Promoting Technological Education.

HOTHAM SCHOOL OF ART, held AT ST. MARY’S SCHOOLROOM, Chetwynd street. Terms: two shillings per quarter. The following classes meet every THURSDAY EVENING, at eight p.m. :- Practical Geometry, Teacher, J. Ingamells; Mechanical Drawing, J. Buncle and R. Bodycombe; Architectural Drawing, T. Caine; Ornamental and Figure Drawing, D. R. Drape; Landscape and Elementary Drawing, J. M. Kennedy. The committee consists of the following gentlemen:- The Mayor of Hotham, Mr. Cr. Carroll, Mr. Cr. Thomas, Mr. Cr. White, Mr. Cr. Barwise, Mr. Cr. Clarke, Mr. Cr. Laurens, Mr. Cr. Ryan, Mr. Cr. Paton. The following Members of the Board of Advice:- Mr. G. Hardess (chairman), Mr. Alcock, Mr. W. Clarke, Mr. Beasley, Mr. Cook, Mr. Laurens, and Mr. Buncle, Mr. Bodycombe, Mr. Drape, Mr. Caine, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kurz, Mr. Walker, Mr. White, head, Mr. C. E. Randall, Mr. Marley, Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. McGrotty, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Kirkus, Mr. Atkin, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Urie, Mr. Chrystal.

Mr. G. M. HARDESS, Treasurer.
Mr. H. WARNER, Secretary.”

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