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1858 - 1950

1858, Apolda, Germany – 1950, Nundah, Queensland

Louis Wirth was born in Germany and, as a young man, studied art in London, where he married. He then migrated with his young family to Western Australia in 1882, moving to Brisbane the following year. Wirth was instrumental in the formation of the Queensland Art Society (QAS) in 1887, and in June 1888, he was a member of a QAS deputation to the Minister for Education, seeking advice in the formation of the Queensland National Art Gallery. In the early 1890s, Wirth was a drawing master in several Brisbane schools, including Nundah’s Eton High School for boys (1886–93). He also worked as a photographic artist, establishing Wirth’s Art Studio in Queen Street, in 1891; the studio specialised in colouring and retouching photographic enlargements and reconstructing damaged images. The studio survived until around 1930 when the business was sold to the International Art Company. On 10 October 1950, Wirth died at his home at Nundah, aged 92.

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