A Political Meeting in the Old Eastern Market.

Title: A Political Meeting in the Old Eastern Market.
Date: C1887
Artist: John Mather (1848?-1916)
Image Size: 74mm x 140mm (2.91" x 5.51")
Technique: Hand coloured engraving.
Condition: In good condition
Stock Number: VAIM 1429 AA (NIT) (B010) (1)
Price: $A 55

The Eastern Market was on a two-acre site on the corner of Bourke and Stephen (later Exhibition Street. It was demolished in 1960 and the Southern Cross Hotel built on the site. As it was a large public space the market was also used 'as a people's forum, the site of open-air services, meetings, lectures and political demonstrations.


John Mather (1848?-1916)

Mather was painter, etcher and teacher, born at Scotland who migrated with his parents to Australia in 1878. He had hoped to practise professionally but when he settled in Melbourne realized he would be unable to make an immediate living from painting, and worked as a house decorator.

He built a studio at Lilydale and much of his painting was done in the surrounding countryside. He was foundation member of the Victorian Artists' Society and in 1912 he joined Fred McCubbin, Meldrum, Walter Withers and others to form a breakaway group, the Australian Art Association. After constant campaigning for the inclusion of an artist on the board of trustees of the Public Library, Museums and National Gallery of Victoria, Mather was appointed in 1892. He was a member of the Felton Bequest Committee in 1905-16 and in this capacity, and as trustee, he strongly supported Australian art.