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William Hardy Wilson at Purulia, Warrawee
, 1921 (printed by Max Dupain 1981)

by Harold Cazneaux and Max Dupain (printer)

gelatin silver photograph (support: 50.7 cm x 43 cm, sheet: 41.5 x 35.2, image: 41.5 x 35.2)

William Hardy Wilson (1881–1955) – or Hardy Wilson, as he styled himself – was an architect, artist and advocate for heritage protection. Born and educated in Sydney, Wilson was articled to the architectural firm Kent & Budden in 1899 and studied at Sydney Technical College, qualifying in 1904. While a student, Wilson also took art lessons and exhibited with the Royal Art Society of NSW. After several years in England, he returned home aiming to develop a greater appreciation of historic Australian architecture, and began making the elegant drawings of colonial buildings by which he is now popularly known. Wilson’s architectural work was also inspired by his fascination with earlier and international styles – his two best known houses, Eryldene at Gordon, and his own home, Purulia, were both influenced by colonial bungalows and became prototypes for many houses in Sydney’s north shore suburbs. A regular contributor to Art in Australia and The Home, Wilson’s output included some 17 books and ranged across Greek and Chinese architecture, orientalism, creativity and mysticism. Between 1935 and his death twenty years later, Wilson donated many of his drawings to the National Library of Australia; its collection, in consequence, now includes around 400 examples of his work.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the Simpson Family in memory of Caroline Simpson OAM 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2008.83