State Library of South AustraliaState Library of South Australia

Settler's cottage

Catalogue record

Creator: Gill, Harry P. (Harry Pelling), 1855-1916, artist

Object Source: 'Settler Cottage', a watercolour

Date of creation : ca. 1900

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Artwork, 200 cm x 155 mm

Watercolour by Harry Pelling Gill, Director of technical art, South Australian School of Art, 1889-1914

H P Gill emigrated to South Australia in 1882 to take up the position of master of the School of Design at the South Australian Institute. He arranged elementary and advanced classes, the training of art teachers and correspondence art classes. In 1889 he became director of technical art and in 1892 he assumed responsibility for all art teaching. In that year he also became an honorary curator of the South Australian Art Gallery.

In this position he advised on the purchase of contemporary European art as well as the collecting of the work of up and coming Australian artists such as Tom Roberts, Hans Heysen and Frederick McCubbin. His teaching and administrative duties left him little time to practice his own art, but what he did achieve showed a fascination with the portrayal of light.

Following an enquiry into the running of the School of Design, the teaching of art in South Australia was transferred to the Department of Education. Gill became the first Principal of the new Adelaide School of Arts and Crafts (later the South Australian School of Arts), but stepped down from the curatorship at the art gallery.

A portrait by one of his students, Millicent Hambidge, is held by the Art Gallery of South Australia. The SA School of Arts presents the Harry P Gill Medal to the student with the highest grade point average in design.


Further reading

Gill, Harry P The straight and devious paths of studentship: a lecture delivered at the School of Design, Adelaide, on Friday, 9th February, 1894 Adelaide: School of Design Art Club, 1894

Benko, Nancy Art and artists of South Australia Adelaide: Published under the patronage of the Lidums family, 1969

Death of Mr. H.P. Gill. A prominent art critic Register, 31 May 1916, p. 7, col. b

An art master Mail, 6 December 1913, p. 8, col. d [Harry Gill arrived in South Australia in 1882. Principal of the School of Design, Painting and Technical Art - interview]

Germaine, Max Artists & galleries of Australia Roseville, N.S.W.: Craftsman House, c1990


Australian Dictionary of Biography online: Gill, Harry Pelling (1855-1916)

Hindmarsh township by H P Gill

South Australian School of Art

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