Historical information

Albert E. WILLIAMS (1899-1986)
Victoria, Australia

Albert E. Williams first studied art under Fred Foster after being awarded a scholarship to the Ballarat East Art School. In 1913 he became one of the first intake of 83 students to study the Merit Certificate at the newly opened Ballarat Junior Technical School. Williams was the second person to receive a certificate from that institution. He then studied under H.H. Smith for the Art Teachers’ Certificate at the Ballarat School of Mines Technical Art School between 1915 and 1920.

Williams joined the staff of the Ballarat Junior Technical School in 1921, teaching sign writing, ticket writing and house decoration. He taught in other technical schools between 1923 and 1928, returning to Ballarat in that year to fill a vacancy left by John Rowell . Williams continued his teaching career at both the Ballarat School of Mines Technical Art School and the Junior Technical School until 1942. He taught in various other technical schools from 1943, retiring as Headmaster of the Brighton Technical School in 1964.

Albert E. Williams continued producing artwork throughout his career, and was responsible for the education of generations of artists and art teachers. In 1937 he was living at 302 Drummond Steet South, Ballarat.

This item is part of the Federation University Art Collection. The Art Collection features over 2000 works and was listed as a 'Ballarat Treasure' in 2007.

Physical description

Unframed pencil drawing of a plaster cast of a human figure known as the Dancing Faun, a marble sculpture first recorded in 1665, when Albert Rubens listed it as in the collection of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in Florence (probably long owned by the Medici). By 1688 the sculpture was held by the Uffizi in Florence. In September 1800 the sculpture was sent to Palermo along with other treasures to avoid plunder by the French army, but it was returned to the Florence in 1803. By the 18th Century the Dancing Faun gained a reputation as one of the finest ancient sculptures in existence. A faun makes music by simultaneously playing the ‘crotala’ (similar to cymbals) in his hands and the ‘scabellum’ or ‘croupezion’ under his right foot.

In Victorian Education Department examinations, this sculpture was sometimes called the "Clapping Faun".

Inscriptions & markings

Written on the mount board below the drawing "Drawing Human Figure from the Cast. for art Teacher's Certificate 1931 by Albert E. Williams. Tech. Art School, Ballarat."