Historical information

Harold Brocklebank Herbert (16.09.1891-1945)

Harold Herbert was one of the first pupils at the school starting in 1891, commencing as a 15 years old he studied Applied Design and Architecture at the Ballarat Technical School of design attached to the Ballarat Fine Art Galery, transferring to the Ballarat Technical Art school attached to the Ballarat School of Mines. He was a certificated Art Teacher with the Victorian Education Department. His talents were identified by Ballarat’s Ponsonby Carew-Smith who rose to become Art Inspector with the Victorian Education Department.

His teaching career included being appointed Principal of the Sale Technical Art School in 1898. Harold Herbert undertook further studies in England returning to Ballarat with all new entrepreneurial ideas. He worked at the Ballarat Technical Art School between 1915-19.

Harold Herbert was involved with the design of the Ballarat Arch of Victory, and was responsible for the reproductions in ‘The Education Department’s Record of War Service.

Had been principal of the Sale Technical Art School since 1898, and had undertaken further studies in England returning to Ballarat with all sorts of entrepreneurial ideas.

In 1924 the Ballarat School of Mines Students’ Magazine reported

“We are perfectly safe in claiming on behalf of our school, that no institution of its kind has turned out a greater number of men and women students who have since “made good” while some have achieved enviable prominence in the world of art.

Amongst these later, the most brilliant is Harold B. Herbert whose work is so widely and justly appreciated throughout Australia and whose achievements are watched by his old school with the greatest pride.

He commenced at the School when he was about 15 years of age, and followed a course of training very similar to what most students are doing the most valuable qualities shown by him during his career as a student were a passion for drawing and a capacity for taking pains, so essential in all artwork.
He was appointed as Assistant Art Teacher at Ballarat on completion of his course, and later assistant in the office of Art Inspector.

All of his spare time was devoted to out-door sketching and commercial drawing and he showed an ability in practical design for various crafts quite equal to the ability he has since displayed in depictive art.

His return to this School as senior master and his departure to devote himself entirely to fine art are quite recent happenings with which all students are familiar.

The wonderful exhibition he held in Melbourne on return from a sketching trip abroad has place him amongst the leading artists of Australia.

Upon his death in 1945 the Ballarat School of Mines Student's Magazine recorded:
"The death of the famous water-colour artist, Harold Herbert, will be a distinct loss to art in Australia. he was educated at the Ballarat Art School which it was situated in Sturt Street, and the gave promise of becoming a famous artist then. his talents were recognised, and in water-colour work he quickly made a name for himself. his landscapes in water-colour are in the principle galleries of the world, and many of them are to be found in the Ballarat gallery and in other provincial galleries. In 1941 he was appointed official war artist for the COmmonwealth, and he served in the Middle East and Syria. Exhibitions of his war pictures have been seen at different times in Melbourne."

Physical description

Portrait of a young man in a suit. He is Harold Brocklehurst Herbert, staffmember of the Ballarat Technical Art School (a division of the Ballarat Technical Art School).

The photograph is a detail of the Ballarat School of Mines Magazine Committee, 1919. (http://victoriancollections.net.au/items/54923a682162f116140de59c)