The Australian Medical Association War Memorial

August 8th, 2013 | Photos, Sunnyside, Web Gilbert

In 1921, the Victorian Branch of the British Medical Association commissioned Web Gilbert to create “some moveable artistic work by an Australian now in Melbourne” in association with an honour roll. The Committee wished the sculpture to demonstrate “…a medical officer doing his duty to the fallen”. Initially, the request had come from the Returned Medical Officers’ Association. The sculpture was erected in 1923.

It was initially displayed at the Association’s offices in East Melbourne, but is now situated in a courtyard adjacent to the front entrance of the Australian Medical Association in Royal Parade, Parkville.

In preparing these notes, I am extremely indebted to an article, “Web Gilbert’s War Sculptures”, written by Donald Richardson, and published in the Victorian Historical Journal, Volume 70, No. 1, June 1999, pp 21 – 35.

I am also very grateful to the Australian Medical Association for allowing me to photograph this very moving sculpture.

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It is hard to believe sometimes that these sculptures are modelled from clay, but this signature makes it very clear, and feels very immediate. It almost looks as though Gilbert has signed his name in the clay with a piece of stick.

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The sculpture works so well from every angle.

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Some finely observed detail.

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