Harry Pelling Gill

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Harry Pelling Gill (9 March 1855 – 25 May 1916), generally referred to as H. P. Gill, was an English-born Australian art curator, teacher and painter.

Gill was born at Brighton, Sussex, England, the son of Alfred Gill and his wife Frances Elizabeth, née Pelling. Gill studied at the Brighton School of Art, Hove and Sussex Grammar Schools and at South Kensington where he won a scholarship. In 1882 Gill was appointed master of the School of Design at Adelaide and held this position until 1909, when it was taken over by the Education Department and became the Adelaide School of Art, with Gill as Principal and Examiner.[1] He published The Straight and Crooked Paths of Studentship in 1894. He was appointed honorary curator of the Art Gallery of South Australia, and in 1899 visited Europe where, with the assistance of a committee, he spent £10,000 on works of art. He was also responsible for purchasing works of young Australian artists such as Tom Roberts, Hans Heysen and Frederick McCubbin.[2] It was generally agreed that very good judgment had been shown in making these purchases. Gill was a longtime member of the South Australian Society of Arts and its president from 1909 to 1911. He resigned from the School of Art on 1 July 1915 on account of ill health, and while on a voyage to England, for reasons of health, died in the Mediterranean between Marseilles and Gibraltar[3] on 25 May 1916, and was buried at sea. Gill had a good reputation as a teacher and lecturer. Gill was an Associate of the Royal College of Art, London, and a Freemason. An oil and three of his water-colours are in the Art Gallery of South Australia. He was survived by his wife and two sons.[4][5]


Harry Pelling Gill married Annie Waring Wright on 29 April 1886. They had two sons:

  • Lancelot Waring "Lance" Gill (22 August 1887 – 31 December 1969), married Isabel May Moore on 24 December 1912. Isabel was the third daughter of S. W. Moore MLA for NSW.
  • Erold Waring Gill (21 May 1891 – 25 July 1916) He died of wounds received during the Somme Offensive.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Concerning People". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 1 July 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1066&c=7521
  3. ^ "Personal". Daily Herald. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 31 May 1916. p. 4. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Gill, Harry Pelling". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  5. ^ Fischer, G. L. (1983). "Gill, Harry Pelling (1855–1916)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  6. ^ "Commemorative Roll: Erold Waring Gill". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Family Notices.". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 3 November 1916. p. 4. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 

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