George Higinbotham Statue

George Higinbotham Statue, Melbourne, Australia

Public Art: George Higinbotham Statue

Sculptor: © Paul Raphael Montford (1868-1938)

Date: Unveiled 12th November 1937.

Description: Bronze statue of the Honourable George Higinbotham dressed in the robes of the Chief Justice, looking down from atop a granite plinth. He is seen lifting up his robes ever so slightly.

Funded By: Barrister Donald MacKinnon (provisions in his will).

Location: Outside State Treasury Building, Melbourne, Australia.

Background of George Higinbotham: Mr Higinbotham (1826-1892) started his career as a reporter, before serving as Attorney General and then as Chief Justice. He was born in Dublin in 1826 and migrated to Melbourne at the age of 28. His first job in Australia was as the editor of the Argus. He was very much seen as a man ahead of his time and radical in his views. He believed in religious education, reconciliation with indigenous Australians, the Eight Hour Movement and supported women's sufferage (to name a few). He refused to take the £500 salary as Chief Justice and furthermore declined a knighthood. Lieutenant Governor Sir Fredrick Mann, speaking of Higinbotham, recalled " no man did more to bring about the full development of the principles of responsible government in this country."

History of George Higinbotham Statue: The funding for the George Higinbotham statue was kindly provided by barrister Donald Mackinnon in his will (1932). Mackinnon, who was a successful pastoralist and politician, was also been a fond admirer and colleague of Higinbotham. The sculptor chosen was Paul Raphael Montford who was well known for the John Wesley and Adam Lindsay Gordon statues. Monford died in 1938 the year after the Higinbotham Statue was unveiled.

Paul Raphael Montford's Other Works :

Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial, Melbourne, Australia

John Wesley Statue     Adam Lindsay Gordon

Shrine of Remembrance (1927-32):
1926-30 – A Court Favourite (bronze figure, Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne)
1927?-29 – Camperdown War Memorial (life-size bronze, Spirit of Empire)
1927-1928/29 – William Benjamin Chaffey Memorial, Mildura (life-size bronze)
1931 – bronze bust of Delafield W Cook.
c.1928-32 – bronze bust of Sir John Monash ( La Trobe Valley Arts Centre)
1928-30 – bronze busts of Frank Tate
Hamilton Russell (Alfred Hospital, Melbourne)
Senator Sir Harry Lawson (Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine)
1928-30 – Malvern War Memorial
c.1928 - Virgin and Child, Carmelite Church,beaten copper over wood, fabricated by Robert Prenzel to Montford’s design
1928-32 - Adam Lindsay Gordon memorial
c.1930 – a bronze relief bust of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer
1930-32 – Carlo Catani memorial, (bronze bust)
1932 – memorial to Bishop Long (bronze relief and plaque in Bathurst Cathedral)
John Wesley (1935 , Melbourne) 
Justice Higginbotham (1936 – Macarthur Place, Carlton),
George V Memorial, Ararat  (post-1936)
busts of Sir Robert Gibson and Sir Charles Nathan (both made from death-masks).


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