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date: 21 August 2019

Gilbert, (Charles) Web(ster)locked

(b Cockatoo, Victoria, March 18, 1867; d Melbourne, Sept 27, 1925).
  • Graeme Sturgeon

Extract

(b Cockatoo, Victoria, March 18, 1867; d Melbourne, Sept 27, 1925).

Australian sculptor. After inauspicious beginnings and apprenticeship to a pastry cook, Gilbert was led, through his skill in modelling cake decorations, to attend part-time drawing classes at the National Gallery School, Melbourne (1888–91). He also enrolled in night classes at the Victorian Artists’ Society, where he found sympathetic encouragement from the sculptor Charles Douglas Richardson (1853–1932). At that time there was no instruction available in the traditional techniques of sculpture so Gilbert taught himself, continuing to earn his living as a chef at a fashionable Melbourne restaurant. In 1914, aged 47, Gilbert left for London to see the work of the great European sculptors of the past, but the outbreak of World War I only weeks after his arrival left him stranded in England. Too old for either military service or art school, he went on working at his sculpture, submitting it each year to the Royal Academy exhibitions. In ...

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