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The Harvey School

LJ Harvey,  | Cylindrical vase

LJ Harvey, Australia 1871-1949 | Cylindrical vase: (The fox and the grapes) 1933 | Hand-built brown clay cylindrical shape, dipped ochre and cream clays and carved with a formalised design. Clear glaze | Gift of the Reverends David and Bruce Noble 1992 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

LJ Harvey | Vase

LJ Harvey, Australia 1871-1949 | Vase: (The fox and the grapes) c.1920s | Slab built white clay body of swelling square profile, dipped brown clay and carved. Blue-green glaze | Gift of the Reverends David and Bruce Noble 1992 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Currently on display | Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Galleries | Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)

LJ Harvey (1871–1949) was a significant woodcarver, sculptor, potter and teacher, who lived in Brisbane. His national significance is a direct result of the pottery course he established at Brisbane’s Central Technical College, which later developed into the most influential art pottery school in Australia.

In England, the Arts and Crafts movement had been established by William Morris to preserve the tradition of handcrafted work amid the onset of rapid industrialisation. In Queensland, however, the growth of the movement largely paralleled the development of technical education. Harvey taught at the Brisbane (and later Central) Technical College from 1902 to 1935. Initiating a pottery class was the suggestion of Lucy Jane Pearson, a prominent member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Brisbane. Harvey set about acquiring the skills of the craft so he could introduce classes at the College in August 1916: the restriction on imports during World War One had ensured an increased awareness of the need to establish a local industry to prevent future shortages of ceramicware. Although the study of design was emphasised at first, Harvey’s classes developed into popular hobby classes in the 1920s and 1930s.

Brisbane was an artistically conservative city and the adoption of modernist ideas was somewhat tentative, but a positive aspect of this conservatism was that Harvey developed a distinct regional style based on neo-Renaissance motifs and handbuilding techniques. He subsequently conducted private classes, as did many of his students, so that his influence was felt over more than three decades. On display here is the work of LJ Harvey and some of his most accomplished students.

Of Interest 

The Queensland Art Gallery houses a significant collection of Australian paintings, sculptures, decorative art objects, and works on paper. Find more information on these selected Collection highlights | Indigenous Australian Art | Queensland Heritage | Australian Art to 1975

Search the Queensland Art Gallery's Collection online for works by LJ Harvey, Nell Bott and Agnes Barker | Collection Search