Tapestry panel titled 'The Heidelberg School', designed by artist Murray Walker. It is the seventh panel of ten in the Federation Tapestry Suite woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (known as the Australian Tapestry Workshop since 2010), to mark the Centenary of Federation in 2001.

'The Heidelberg School' was researched, conceived and designed by Murray Walker, principal artist/designer of the Federation Tapestry. This panel celebrates the important role of Australia's artists in the Federation process. It represents ways that Australians in the last two decades of the 19th century used literature and art to create and express a unique national identity.

The designer wished to draw attention to the beautiful illuminated works that were used at the time of Federation to celebrate and commemorate significant occasions.

To fulfil his design concept, Murray Walker invited cartoonist Bruce Petty to contribute to the design. Petty drew an impression of the artists' camp at Heidelberg where a group of Australian artists developed a distinctive nationalistic style during the 1880s. Botanical artist Celia Rosser contributed botanical studies, showing the floral emblems of each Australian state and territory. Celia's work also draws attention to the tradition of decorative embroidery depicting Australian flora and fauna that was created by many women in late 19th century Australia.

Walker researched and selected portraits of artists Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton as young men. He included the cover of the catalogue from the 9 x 5 Impression Exhibition of 1889, at the time a very controversial exhibition. He also included in the panel an extract from Joseph Furphy's 'Such is Life' (1903) which was Australia's first nationalistic novel.

Physical Description

Rectangular tapestry featuring a line-drawn cartoon in the centre of artists painting, surrounded by an oval border. On either side are head and shoulder portraits of Australian artists Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts, in yellow and dark blue frames respectively. Images of Australian native flora are woven against a pale yellow background. A quote is woven in black in the lower centre of the tapestry.

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