Historical information

The Ballarat Technical Art School boasted a well-stocked Antique Room replete with plaster copies of classical, Renaissance and Gothic sculptural examples, which were used as drawing props by students.

The school inherited some casts from its predecessor institutions, and further consignments were purchased during the 1920s, including full length, bust and relief figures, as well as dozens of ornamental and architectural casts. Unfortunately, much of the collection was lost or destroyed in the late 1950s. This is one of the few surviving pieces.

The foot came into the school’s collection prior to 1920 as it appears in a photo in the SMB Annual Report. There are two possibilities where these sculptures may have originated, either Victorian and Albert Museum or the British Museum. There is a reference to the purchase of plaster casts from the Victoria and Albert Museum in the 1918 School of Mines Ballarat Minute Book.


This plaster cast of a foot is of local significance as only one of a few remaining teaching pieces from the substantial collection of sculptures used in the art school. The foot also has significance as an interpretive tool complementing the complete art folio of Edith Alice Watson who was a student from 1930-1933.

Physical description

Plaster cast of right foot including ankle. Made from plaster of Paris. Mainly white in colour with grey patches around metatarsels, flecks of blue and green paint and pale brown paint (possibly shellac) and on top of ankle. Measurements suggest a size 11 man's right foot.