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School of Arts

Mechanics Institutes and Schools of Arts are also quite common in old towns. These were apparently libraries for the education of working men and a social gathering spot. I imagine some great local dances were held in this old hall which pops up in the country side in much the same way as the country churches. I got a shot of it in the distance so you can see how it's pretty much isolated from any sort of town, though there is a small one called The Lagoon up the hill where we were when I took the distance shot.

From Country Towns by Kenneth Slessor
"Country towns, with your willows and squares,
And farmers bouncing on barrel mares
To public houses of yellow wood
With "1860" over their doors,
And that mysterious race of Hogans
Which always keeps the General Stores….

At the School of Arts, a broadsheet lies
Sprayed with the sarcasm of flies:
"The Great Golightly Family
Of Entertainers Here To-night"–
Dated a year and a half ago,
But left there, less from carelessness
Than from a wish to seem polite."


  1. Quizzical isn't it ... that these buildings should be just stuck out in the middle of nowhere. And they are not insubstantial either.

    The intruiging thing is that you could replicate this sort of post all over our country: in every state. So it is a cultural thing as much as anything. One generation sees the need and builds but two or three generations down the track they are left and desolate.

    I must keep this in the back of my head whilst traipsing around Hobart at the end of September.

  2. Going to Hobart in September. What a gad-about your are.

    I don't think I ever saw a School of Arts in Queensland. That's why the poem I attached always stuck in my head from my schooldays ... a School of Arts seemed like a rather exotic thing. I don't remember seeing a Mechanics Institute either until I moved here to Lawson. But on both counts I might simply have not been looking.

  3. I guess everything must have been built in a very spread out fashion, when cars were already common. You mention a town in the post, but there is no obvious town round about in the panorama shot.

  4. Oh - what a lonely little building.
    I want to take him under my wing.

  5. AB, Built in 1902 ... not too many cars around then. There is a small town on a hill a km or so away. I was in that town when I took the shoot. Perhaps there were more buildings around the School of Arts once or more likely it is like country churches and one teacher schools, built by the local farming community in a donated field and every one got there on horse or in a horse and cart ... even in my father's day all of the kids rode to school on a horse.

  6. The panoramic shot is so beautiful!

  7. the reflections in the windows ~really pure shot!


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