International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Role of Art and Craft Collections in Teacher Training Institutions in Australia

Volume 23.1   2004



In post-war Australia, rapid population growth increased the demand for teachers. The colleges at Ballarat and Bendigo were revived and expanded by the Victorian Government. At Bendigo in 1955 F M Courtis, Head of Art Education, acquired art works initiating a valuable and significant teaching resource at the College. The study of the F M Courtis Collection raised obvious questions about the role of collections in the early teaching colleges and what events or factors led to their beginnings. This case study will be situated within a broader picture of art and craft collections in institutions across three states. My discussions in this paper are framed by some of Raymond Williams’ notions about country and city and the ‘contrast between country and city, as fundamental ways of life’. I hope to demonstrate the important role art and craft collections have played in visual arts education in country institutions.