They also added key figures and names in the history of scholarship to portray aspects of the University’s academic traditions.Carving began in 1939 when the first University Sculptor, John Theodore Muller (1873–1953), and his associates interpreted the designs of Hennessy, Hennessy & Co principal architect Leo Drinan (although the subjects of the grotesques were his own).Use the UQ Great Court Sculptures Online to search and view the iconic sandstone sculptures.
Artist and Adjunct Professor Fiona Foley recognised the court’s links to Indigenous culture and knowledge systems through the September 2014 site-specific exhibition Courting Blakness.
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Muller produced several hundred carvings in a range of styles until his death in 1953, after which work on the Great Court carvings languished for more than two decades.
In 1976 the University Senate invited several artists to submit a sample grotesque and awarded the second commission of University Sculptor to Dr Rhyl Kingston Hinwood AM (1940–).