The A.N.A. Exhibition, just closed, cannot be called a suc- cess. The task of getting together a yearly representative collec- tion of "Australian Industries" is evidently beyond the power of the promoters. Two years ago, the R.V.I.A. held an exhibition of works in the North-West gallery, and, last year, the Victorian Institute of Engineers occupied the same space. Both exhibits at the time of holding were fully described in our columns. This year, the galleries were empty, whilst the general exhibits, save those of the Department of Agriculture, the Metropolitan Gas Co., and the City Council's electrical exhibits, and one or two others, evoked but little interest. Cox and Co. showed what could be done with our native timbers in the manufacture of mantelpieces and fitments; whilst Grundy and Co. exhibited furniture made out of "stringy bark" and other Australian tim- bers, used most frequently for common purposes. A piano frame in red gum, although creditable as a piece of workmanship, was not, in our opinion, an æsthetic success. Red gum is really a timber suitable for structural purposes rather than for cabinet work. The piece of wood used had been "seasoned" as a post in the Rosstown sugar works for the last thirty years. Any timber which requires seasoning for even a shorter term of, say, ten years, is, we imagine, outside the region of practical use.
It is true, we do not yet realise the full value of our heritage in Australian timbers. But our wealth in this respect is beginning to be appreciated. A cursory glance, for instance, at the exquisite blackwood used in the dado and other work in the new Council chamber at the Melbourne Town Hall, by Buckley and Nunn, reveals our richness in this timber alone.
If the A.N.A. cannot organise a better yearly exhibition [than
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than the one this year let it hold one biennially or triennially in- stead. Side shows may be of interest in a secondary sense, but in default of anything better, they hardly sustain the reputation of "Australian Industries."
The Working Men's College, Melbourne, is an institution in which those interested in architecture and building construction take deep interest. The classes in both subjects were never so full, and, in the first year of building construction, would-be students are being literally turned away from the doors. No instructor, unless his heart be as hard as a grindstone, can turn a young fellow away without heaving a sigh, for he knows that, at least, it involves the loss of a year's study, and may mean in addition that the desire to learn may die away before the year is over. The result is, that another inefficient man may soon swell the ranks in which there is too much inefficiency already, or take some casual work with more or less perseverance, and become another unskilled labourer in a market always con- gested. Our technical colleges in Victoria have ever been shame- fully treated by past Governments until the present day. New Zealand we find spends £67,000 yearly on technical education, New South Wales, £48,000, whilst Victoria spends only £22,000.
We remember that in 1893 the Government would not even guarantee to pay the W.M.C. any subsidy whatever, and the Col- lege was compelled to discharge all its instructors and to close its doors for months. Matters have improved since that time undoubtedly. We are certain, however, that the College is justi- fied in its present demand that the subsidy (which last year was increased to £10,000) shall be granted as a fixed amount on a permanent basis, and not be made subject to any reduction by the Cabinet. The classes in which our readers are interested require the models, equipment and appliances with which the colleges in England and France, to our own knowledge at least, are replete. We are living in a fool's paradise if we think we have done anything with technical education beyond playing with it. Shall we find out the mistake before we are left hopelessly in the rear?
Architectural Competitions would furnish much material for the pen of a ready writer, eclipsing in romance most of that
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which is purely a product of the imagination. Some }ears ago, an American architectural journal compiled an article from the re- ports supplied by American architects upon this subject. We concluded, after carefully considering the article, that every pos- sible condition, or combination of conditions on the part of
building committees, by which unfair treatment was meted out to architects, had been exhausted. We were wrong, however.
Australia has furnished a case, unique we should think in the history of competitions. A college authority in Victoria recently called for competitive designs for a college chapel. The de- signs received, some 13, we think, were publicly exhibited for
nearly three months before the awards were published. When the decisions by the authority were arrived at, we do not know.
If they were made before the designs were publicly exhibited, the competitors, we contend, should have been informed of the positions in which they stood at as early a date as was possible.
On the other hand, if the decisions were only made just before publicity was given to them the possibilities of abuse—by any body of men less honourable than architects—become too many to think of. Although the designs rightly bore neither name of designer nor motto, the authors' names were well known, as cer-
tain practitioners of our acquaintance, months ago, told us who were the authors in almost every case. It seems strange that a College Council, consisting of educated men, should show such a lamentable ignorance of business aptitude, and at the same time be so indifferent to the feelings of architects, who upon its invi- tation had submitted the designs for this college chapel. And after all, we would like to know when the work of building is to be started, and how much cash, if any, is in hand, for the erection of this Trinity College Chapel, Melbourne ?
Mr. P. B. Hudson, A.R.V.I.A., late assistant instructor in building construction at the Working Men's College, Melbourne, has been appointed to the position of instructor in that subject, along with architecture, at the Eastern Suburbs Technical Col- lege, Hawthorn, and the Council of the W.M.C. has accepted his resignation with regret. From our knowledge of Mr. Hud-