Cultured colonists: George Alexander Gilbert and his family, settlers in Port Phillip

Margaret Bowman
Published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in association with the Athenaeum Library and the State Library of Victoria
Paperback 164pp Illustrated ISBN 0781925003642

George Alexander Gilbert arrived in Melbourne in 1841 just as tentative steps were being taken to enrich the cultural life of the new settlement. As a teacher, artist and the founder of the city's first art school, he was to do much to advance visual arts in the colony.

In Cultured colonists, Margaret Bowman has drawn on the rich resources of the State Library of Victoria to explore Gilbert's life and reproduce his charming landscape drawings, many of which are in the Library’s collection.

The story of George Alexander Gilbert and his family reveals the opportunities and difficulties faced by educated colonists, and highlights the importance of both informal social networks and organisations such as the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institution.

Margaret Bowman is an author and researcher in art history and politics. She researched this book as an Honorary Creative Fellow.

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