State Library of Victoria image.

The Invention of Melbourne presents a rare opportunity to see some little-known treasures of gold rush Melbourne and to reflect on the careers of two remarkable men – James Alipius Goold, first Catholic bishop of Melbourne, and William Wilkinson Wardell, architect of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Bishop (later Archibishop) James Goold arrived in Melbourne in 1848. He soon developed an ambitious vision for Catholic Melbourne, which included building a fine cathedral. It would be the largest ecclesiastical building in Melbourne. Less wellknown
is Goold’s interest in collecting both pictures and books. Some of those works feature in this exhibition.

William Wardell arrived in Melbourne in 1858 and began working on the cathedral soon afterwards. His cathedral is considered one of the finest Gothic Revival buildings constructed anywhere in the world. Included in the exhibition are his original
plans and sketches, along with fine books and prints from the cathedral library.
Between them, these two men made a notable contribution to the built environment of the emerging city of Melbourne.

Start Date: 1 August 2019

End Date: 2 March 2020


The research for ‘The Invention of Melbourne: A Baroque Archbishop and a Gothic Architect' was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.

You are invited to the international conference, Translating European Culture to Colonial Melbourne: James Goold and his Legacies. This conference celebrates the conclusion of an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on Archbishop Goold and his patronage.

It brings a comparative dimension to our research with keynote contributions on the cultural visions of the Church in seventeenth-century Spain, in nineteenth- century Canada, and with Anglicanism in nineteenth-century Melbourne. It will present very recent research on religious orders in Australia, Goold’s patronage of contemporary artists, and the nineteenth architects who have contributed significant heritage buildings to the built environment of Melbourne and country Victoria.

With papers across two days by leading Australian and international researchers, the conference will be punctuated by keynote lectures from the following speakers:

Professor Mark McGowan (University of Toronto)

Professor Peter Sherlock (University of Divinity)

Rafael Japón (University of Granada)

Registrations and the conference program, click here

Coming Public Programs

There are no upcoming events at this time.