Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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NEWBURY, Albert Ernest (1891-1941)

NEWBURY, Albert Ernest (1891-1941)

A E Newbury, impressionist landscape artist, was born at Middle Park on 29 January 1891 to parents, Samuel Newbury (1855-1930 and his wife, Jessie Susannah nee Dowsett (1858-1940). Albert's father, Samuel Newbury was Principal of Albert Park Grammar School.

Albert spent most of his childhood at Geelong and was enrolled at the Geelong College by 1897 when he came 3rd in the Junior College 100 yards race that year. He later appeared in the Preparatory Forms 100 yards handicap race in 1900. At the same College sports meeting in 1900, his brother Alfred Charles Newbury came a narrow 2nd in the Old Collegians’ Cup. Albert was probably also a student at his father’s school.

Pegasus, after his death in 1941 reported that ‘A E Newbury died at Melbourne (Eltham) on April 2. He became one of our leading painters and has been called the Corot of Australian art: none has depicted more truly the beauties of Australian light, colour and character. Several excellent specimens of his work are in the Melbourne and Geelong Galleries.’

He was 18 years old when he commenced studying at the National Gallery School in Melbourne where he trained with Frederick McCubbin and Bernard Hall. While there, he won the Ramsay Prize for portrait painting in 1913. He later studied with Max Meldrum. After a first exhibition in 1917, he went on to specialize mainly in landscapes and occasional portraits.

He was appointed Drawing Master at the National Gallery School in 1939 but died a few years afterwards. He married Ruth Trumble and had a son. One of his works was included in a display of art work by Old Collegians at Geelong College in 1938. Albert Newbury’s works were primarily concerned with the effect of light on the landscape. The Art Gallery of NSW holds a self-portrait by Newbury created in about 1930.

His brothers, Samuel Dowsett Newbury (1892-1953); Rev Alfred Charles Newbury (1886-1948); Frank George Newbury and Charles Frederick Newbury were also educated at Geelong College.

His son, David Newbury (1925-2003), like his father, became a notable painter first as an abstract artist and then for forty odd years as an Impressionist. David retired in 1982 and moved to Geelong in 1988.

Sources: Pegasus 1939 p71; Argus, (Melb), 2 April 1941; Pegasus June 1941 p52; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; C. Hampel, The Paintings of A E Newbury.
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