Academics and art at the University of Melbourne

The first chair of Fine Arts in Australia was bestowed by Sir Keith Murdoch by way of The Melbourne Herald

Joseph Terrence Burke was appointed in 1946 and his role was not simply to develop a teaching department, but to work to widen the opportunities to experience the fine arts both within the University and in the wider community.

Many key figures have been part of UM as art historians or academics. Note that the following list provides entry points into the collection and is not meant as a comprehensive listing.

Sir Joseph Terence Burke

Laurence Course

Dr Ursula Hoff

Emeritus Professor Margaret Manion

Franz Philipp

In addition, the records of many societies and associations arising from UM Departments are held at UMA; these include the Department of Fine Arts and the Melbourne University Fine Arts Society.

Portrait of Ursula Hoff
Portrait of Ursula Hoff, 1943, Ursula Hoff Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 1986.0059.00002

Sculpture on campus

A range of artistic styles can be found in the sculptures scattered across all University of Melbourne campuses.

Further reading:

Cultural and Community Relations Committee, The University of Melbourne. Sculpture on campus. University of Melbourne Parkville campus.  2002
https://museumsandcollections.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1655619/H02915-Sculpture.pdf

Sloggett, R. (2011). Sculpture in the grounds, with some memories of things that got away Ray Marginson, interviewed by Robyn Sloggett.
https://museumsandcollections.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/1378955/03_Robyn-Sloggett.pdf

This sculpture was designed by Austrian artist Victor Tilgner in 1893.

Sculpture ‘Charity being kind to the poor’
Sculpture ‘Charity being kind to the poor’, University of Melbourne Media and Publication Services Office Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 2003.0003.08730. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki

'The Crown' was a gift from Carlton and United Breweries in 1986 to the University. This sculpture was once the top of a major chimney at the Carlton and United Breweries in Abbotsford. After acquisition by the University, it was installed on the south side of the Physics Building.

Crown sculpture outside Physics building
Crown sculpture outside Physics building on the Parkville campus, University of Melbourne Media and Publication Services Office Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 2003.0003.03385 Photographer: Norman Wodetzki.

Zoology relief in copper, commissioned 1962. Hungarian-Australian artist Andor Meszaros was also commissioned to produce the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games commemorative medal. This sculpture is located on the Zoology building

starfish
Sculpture - Zoology building, undated, University of Melbourne Media and Publication Services Office Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 2003.0003.08161

Trial of Socrates 1956 copper Commissioned c. 1953 Tom Bass. Located on Wilson Hall.

Sculpture on the side of Wilson Hall
Sculpture on the side of Wilson Hall, undated, University of Melbourne Media and Publication Services Office Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 2003.0003.08201. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki
Southbank Campus
Southbank Campus during COVID lockdown - Sculpture on corner of Southbank Blvd and St Kilda Rd, 28 April 2020, 2020.0007.00126. Photographer: Mr Paul Burston
sculpture ‘Cultural Rubble’
Detail of Ian Potter, sculpture ‘Cultural Rubble’ by Christine O’Loughlin, c.25 Jul 1993, University of Melbourne Media and Publication Services Office Collection, University of Melbourne Archives, 2003.0003.08347. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki