H I Babbage

Biography
Herbert Ivan Babbage came to New Zealand with his family when he about five years old and spent long periods of his childhood and youth in Wanganui. He studied art at Wanganui Technical School and taught art at Hawera. Travelling abroad in 1902, he was to spend much of his life painting in England and Europe but visited Wanganui and retained a strong emotional attachment to this town. The Museum’s Babbage painting, entitled Lake Virginia 1895, is the earliest known of his works to survive and therefore is important in the general catalogue of his paintings. H I Babbage was killed in 1916, one of the victims of WWI. There exists in the St Ives Arts Club a memorial to the four fellow artists of the town who had lost their lives in the war, among them the painter Herbert Ivan Babbage. The memorial comprises a beaten copper plaque, which was mounted on a wooden backboard by Lanhams.

Herbert Ivan Babbage was born in Adelaide, South Australia and educated at the Public School, Hawera, NZ. He was trained primarily at the Wanganui Technical College, later in London, then 3 years at the Julian Academy, Paris.
His works have been exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1908 with 'Bateaux des Pommes'; and in 1916 with 'The Viaduct' (hung "On the Line"). The artist died whilst on active service with the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry and had previously been on guard duty at this viaduct. I quote " The post is of great importance on account of the vast amount of munitions constantly passing on the way to the front." In addition to the Royal Academy he exhibited at Bristol Gallery, Hull Municipal Gallery, Cheltenham Gallery, etc.
He held one man exhibitions in Wanganui and other New Zealand centres in 1909. Vide [sic?] Wanganui Chronicle of 1st December, 1919. The picture "Bateaux des Pommes" is in the Sarjeant Art Gallery.
Most of his painting was done in England and France.
- Mr G.S. Babbage, Lower Hutt, the artist's brother, in a letter to the Sarjeant Gallery dated 11 Dec 1958
b.1875, d.1916
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