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447251
  • Title
    William Strutt - a collection of drawings in watercolour, ink and pencil [...] illustrating the Burke and Wills exploring expedition crossing the continent of Australia from Cooper's Creek to Carpentaria Aug 1860-June 1861. 1st Series [and] 2nd Series, 1846-61
  • Creator
  • Call number
    DL PXX 3 ; DL PXX 4
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    1846-61
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    447251
  • Issue Copy
    Digitised
  • Physical Description
    Albums - Various sizes - largest 38.8 x 26.9 cm., smallest 2.8 x 1.7 cm. - The albums contain photographs and sketches pasted on their leaves, with captions in Strutt's handwriting pasted below many of the items. Inside the front cover of DL PXX 3 are three oval windows with tooled leather borders, in which are inset miniatures painted from the photographs and portrait sketch at ff.2a-c. A monogram of the subject is embossed near each miniature. - 2 albums, comprising 3 miniatures, 135 pencil, wash and watercolour drawings, 1 oil, 25 photographs, 4 newscuttings, and 4 pages of holograph notes
  • ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

    Trained as an artist in England and France, William Strutt has been described as the finest figure painter in Victoria during his residence there between 1850 and 1862. Strutt aspired to record important events in the colony in the genre of history painting, and took a keen interest in the Victorian Exploring Expedition led by Burke and Wills in 1860-61. He made several studies of their preparations at Royal Park, Melbourne, and followed the expedition to its first camp at Essendon. Strutt collected first-hand accounts from the rescue party and from King, the expedition's sole survivor, upon their return. The portraits, detailed studies and annotations that Strutt executed on the scene provided material for his works in oil, watercolour and engraving over the next five decades following his return to England in 1862.
  • Scope and Content
    These albums contain Strutt's sketches and watercolours of the expedition and related photographs collected or commissioned by him. These include the only surviving photographs of the expedition departing, showing Burke making his farewell speech in Royal Park (DL PXX 3 f.8b & f.9), and of the expedition en route (DL PXX 3 f.6b); also photographic portraits of Burke, Wills, and King, and of Howitt, the leader of the rescue party. Strutt's sketches include portraits of Burke, Brahe, Howitt, and the expedition's camel drivers; studies of clothing, equipment, and camels; and details of Burke's burial based on the rescue party's description. Many of these studies were used in later works such as the watercolour `The start of the Burke and Wills exploring expedition from Royal Park, Melbourne, August 20, 1860' (1861; ML 373), and the oils `Portrait of Robert O'Hara Burke' (1862) and `The burial of Burke' (1911). The albums also contain photographs of reenactments of Burke's burial. A three-page manuscript account by Strutt of his encounter with Burke, Wills and Becker in the exploring party in Melbourne and of his painting activities is at DL PXX 3 ff.23a-c.
    Detailed contents lists are available.

    Series 1 (DL PXX3):

    [Miniature inside front cover: Robert O'Hara Burke]
    [Miniature inside front cover: William John Wills]
    [Miniature inside front cover: William Strutt, self-portrait]
    f.1 A collection of drawings ... 1st Series [title page]
    f.2a Mr. Wills the Explorer who perished at Cooper's Creek - Australia
    f.2b William Strutt. Artist, drawn by his Father, Wm Thos. Strutt. Writtle, Essex, 1846
    f.2c Robert Ohara Burke the Australian Explorer
    f.3a King the sole survivor of the Burke & Wills Expedition [photograph]
    f.3b King the sole survivor of the Burke & Wills Expedition [photographer's proof]
    f.3c R.O.H. Burke from nature his only good likeness
    f.3d Howitt's nose fine - a little more bridge - Mr. Howitt's profile
    f.3e Robert O'Hara Burke Australia's 1st hero
    f.3f Mr. Welch had on a black hat just similar to the above with veil
    f.3g Mr. Howitt [a study]
    f.3h [Photograph]
    f.4 Robert O'Hara Burke the Explorer - painted for the Melbourne Club by William Strutt - photographed from the picture
    f.5a Mr. Howitt, the leader of the party ... search, & relief. Sent to Cooper's Creek [photograph]
    f.5b Mr. Howitt, the leader of the party ... search, & relief. Sent to Cooper's Creek [photograph]
    f.6a Start of the Burke and Wills Exploring Expedition from Royal Park, Melbourne, August 20, 1860 [photograph of drawing]
    f.6b [The exploring party encamped] [photograph]
    f.7a [Study for Start of the Burke and Wills Exploring Expedition]
    f.7a [Study for Start of the Burke and Wills Exploring Expedition]
    f.8a "Now, Mr. Mayor, we are ready to start." Start of the Exploring Expedition from Royal Park, Melbourne [photograph of drawing]
    f.8b [Encampment of the Exploring Party] [photograph]
    f.9 [Encampment of the Exploring Party] [photograph, enlargement of f.8b]
    f.10a Brahe of Burke's party
    f.10b East Indian camel driver, Burke & Wills Expedition, Melbourne
    f.11a [Study, probably of King, for Death of Burke]
    f.11b Burke saying Farewell to Dr Eades the Mayor & the Royal Society - from nature - Augt 20th 1860
    f.11c [Preliminary study for Start of the Burke & Wills Exploring Expedition from Royal Park, Melbourne]
    f.12a "The following morning I found him speechless or nearly so: & about eight o'clock he expired"
    f.12b For Burke's burial [pencil notes around rough sketch]
    f.12c Burke's death: he died at 8 o'clock in the morning, sun fast rising
    f.13a Mr. Howitt, from nature
    f.13b [Notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.13c The figures were in the shade ... [study and notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.13d W. Brahe [study and notes]
    f.13e Mr. Howitt said this is like the scene [study and notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.13f A fire had been lighted near the grave [study for Burial of Burke]
    f.13g The only accurate likeness of Burke the Explorer
    f.14a Dr. Wheeler, Aitken, Mr. Welch (surveyor), Mr Howitt (leader), Mr Brahe. Burial of Burke [sketch and notes]
    f.14b Welch says they held the flag very tight. Welch approved of this sketch. [Sketch and notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.15a Burial of Burke
    f.15b [King with Cooper's Creek blacks who are covering Burke's remains]
    f.16a [Burial of Burke] [photograph of painting]
    f.16b [King with Cooper's Creek blacks who are covering Burke's remains] [photograph of painting]
    f.17 It was a very large flag ... [sketch and notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.18 [Burial of Burke] [photograph of painting]
    f.19a [Union Jack] [study and notes]
    f.19b [Study for Burial of Burke]
    f.19c Victory. Burke & Wills [study and notes for monument]
    f.20 [Poses for Burial of Burke] [photograph]
    f.21a Indian Camel drivers at the Camp. Exporing Expedition - Royal Park Melbourne. The standing figure is King ... [stereoscopic photograph]
    f.21b [View of camel camp in Royal Park, Melbourne] [stereoscopic photograph]
    f.21c [View of camel camp in Royal Park, Melbourne] [stereoscopic photograph]
    f.21d [View of camel camp in Royal Park, Melbourne] [stereoscopic photograph]
    f.22 [Poses for Burial of Burke] [photograph]
    f.23a [Account by William Strutt of his encounter with the exploring party, page 1]
    f.23b [Account by William Strutt of his encounter with the exploring party, page 2]
    f.23c [Account by William Strutt of his encounter with the exploring party, page 3]

    Series 2 (DL PXX4):

    f.1 A collection of drawings ... 2nd Series [title page]
    f.2a Brahe
    f.2b [Studies and notes regarding topographical details for Burial of Burke]
    f.2c [Studies and notes regarding topographical details for Burial of Burke]
    f.2d Roberrt O'Hara Burke, the Australian Explorer. An admirable likeness
    f.3a Australian Exploring Expedition just starting from Royal Park Melbourne
    f.3b Australian Exploring Expedition just starting from Royal Park Melbourne
    f.3c Coopers Creek general appearance, where Wills died - sketched by Welch [annotated]
    f.3d Australian Exploring Expedition just starting from Royal Park Melbourne
    f.4a Innamincka, on Cooper's Creek, Central Australia. [1887 clipping]
    f.4b Innamincka, on Cooper's Creek, Central Australia [1887 clipping]
    f.4c Nardos [sic] seed, from Cooper's Creek, brought by Brahe [photograph]
    f.5 Grave of Burke the Explorer. Coopers Creek. Central Australia
    f.6 All the above particulars, Mr. Welch, one of the burial party, supplied me with ... [studies and notes for Burial of Burke]
    f.7a Burke's grave, Cooper's Creek [newspaper engraving]
    f.7b Place where Burke was found [newspaper engraving]
    f.7c At Coopers Creek - Australia [notes and studies of plants]
    f.7d At Coopers Creek - Australia [notes and studies of plants]
    f.7e At Coopers Creek - Australia [notes and studies of plants]
    f.8a [Tree] [ink and watercolour pasted into coloured border]
    f.8b Coopers Creek, where Burke was buried
    f.9a East Indian driver and camel
    f.9b The start from Royal Park, Melbourne. Augt 20th 1860
    f.10a [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10b [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10c [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10d [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10e [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10f [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10g [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10h [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10i [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10j [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10k [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10l [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10m [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.10n [Studies of saddles, harness, loaded horses and mounted riders]
    f.11a [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11b [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11c [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11d [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11e [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11f [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11g [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11h [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11i [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11j [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11k [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11l [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11m [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.11n [Studies of saddles, harness, camels and riders]
    f.12a [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12b [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12c [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12d [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12e [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12f [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12g [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12h [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12i [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12j [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12k [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12l [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12m [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.12n [Study for drawings of the Burke and Wills expedition]
    f.13 My Note Book of The Exploring Expedition of Burke & Wills. 1860. Royal Park, Melbourne [sketchbook cover]
    f.14a [Study of camel saddle]
    f.14b [Study of camel saddle]
    f.14c [Study of camel saddle]
    f.14d [Study of camel saddle]
    f.15a Burke & Wills Expedition. East Indian camel driver and ex-soldier
    f.15b Camel driver of Burke & Wills Exploring Expedition. Esau Can ...
    f.16a Indian Camel hobbled. Burke's Exploring Expedition
    f.16b Camels for the Exploring Expedition
    f.16c The Camels for Exploring Expedition, just landed at Melbourne
    f.17a [Study of camel]
    f.17b [Study of hooves]
    f.17c [Study of camel]
    f.17d [Study of camel]
    f.18a Camels of the Victorian Exploring Expedition in Royal Park [photograph]
    f.18b [East Indian camel driver with camel] [photograph of f.15a]
    f.18c East Indian Camel - Burke & Wills Expedition
    f.19a [Study of camel]
    f.19b Camels actions
    f.19c [Study of sheep]
    f.19d Indian Camel
    f.19e Indian Camel and driver
    f.20a [Study of camel saddle]
    f.20b Loaded Camel - Exploring Expedition
    f.20c Coarse cloth, for Camels - E. Indian saddle
    f.20d Mr Landell's Camel - East Indian [annotated]
    f.21a East Ind. Camel
    f.21b [Study of camel]
    f.21c East Indian Camels - Melbourne
    f.21d [Study of camel]
    f.22a [Study of camel]
    f.22b [Study of camel]
    f.22c [Study of camel]
    f.22d [Study of camel]
    f.22e [Study of camel]
    f.22f [Study of camel]
    f.22g [Study of camels]
    f.23a [Study of camel saddle]
    f.23b [Study of camel saddle]
    f.23c [Study of camel saddle]
    f.23d [Study of camel saddle]
    f.23e [Study of camel saddle]
    f.24a Exploration Camel
    f.24b [Study of camel and driver]
    f.24c [Study of camel and driver]
    f.24d [Study of camel and driver]
    f.24e East Indian Dromedaries
    f.24f [Study of camels]
  • Source
    Sir William Dixson Library
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Creator died before 1955
    Please acknowledge: : Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    These two volumes form part of a collection of seven Strutt albums and a portfolio at DL PXX 3-10. The other material in this sequence is DL PXX 5-9: A collection of drawings in watercolour, ink and pencil by William Strutt [...] illustrative of the life, character & scenery of Melbourne, 1850-1862 [First-Fifth series]; and DL PXX 10: Collection: Melbourne drawings [1861-1901]. Detailed contents lists available in the Mitchell Library Reading Room.
    Bound by Sangorski & Suttcliffe London, in quarter leather (blue morocco).
    DL PXX 3 f.2a and f.2c are albumen prints of the only known photographic portraits of Burke and Wills. Both portraits are attributed to the photographer Thomas Adams Hill on the basis an engraving from each by Henry Samuel Sadd, printed "Photd. by T. A. Hill" beneath image. The original ambrotype of Wills is filed at MIN 50; DL PXX 3 f.2a is an albumen photoprint from the original. The albumen print of Burke (DL PXX 3 f.2c) is believed also to be a copy from an ambrotype. The same portrait of Burke is held in ambrotype at D179, but the reduced size and quality of this plate, by comparison with that of Wills, suggest that all extant images of Burke are copies from a lost original ambrotype. The actress Julia Mathews is reported to have lost, in Melbourne's botanical gardens, "the miniature portrait Burke had given her before he left" (Murgatroyd, S. The dig tree: the story of Burke and Wills. Melbourne: Text Publishing, c2002). The miniature at D179 was presented by Burke to Richard Nash.
    DL PXX 3 f.6b (The exploring party encamped) is a salted paper print from a glass plate negative. Strutt recorded that he "had some photographs taken" at the party's first camp a few miles out of town. The photographer is unknown.
    DL PXX 3 f.9 (Encampment of the exploring party) is an albumen print from a glass plate taken at Royal Park, Melbourne, by unknown photographer; DL PXX 3 f.8b is a copy, ca. 1895-1910 (remarks by Curator of Photographs, 2006).
    Four pairs of stereograph albumen prints at DL PXX 3 ff.21a-d show John King with Indian camel drivers, and the expedition camped at Royal Park, Melbourne
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823649
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    "From a water colour study by poor Ludwig Becker in his series of charming little miniature drawings he did at Menindie & sent to the Royal Society Committee Melbourne / cracked mud plains - warm - sunlit - brilliant" -- on reverse of DL PXX 4 f.12f
    "Esau Lau, an East Indian camel driver, Burke's Expedition" -- inscribed at lower right, DL PXX 4 f.15b
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