Schools of Arts History

Your Questions Answered

Dr Roger Morris, AM

President, AMISA

As School of Arts members, all of us are familiar with term school of arts. Many of us know at least a couple of alternate terms: mechanics’ institute [most common in Victoria] and literary institute [more common in South Australia]. Most of us are very familiar with the story of their origin in Scotland and their early arrival in the Australian colonies. However, many of the people we meet do not know anything at all about schools of arts and their history of service to the Australian community.

To the right are posed a number of questions which are commonly asked, concerning the nature and functions of the Schools of Arts. These will be answered over coming months.

The following questions will be addressed in future articles.
  • What other names have they used?
  • How many were there?
  • Why were they founded?
  • What facilities did they provide?
  • How did the community use their School of Arts?
  • Why did they decline?
  • What is their legacy?
  • What is their future?