Museum of Brisbane

What’s wrong with this picture….?

The window today in City Hall

In preparation for Museum of Brisbane’s upcoming exhibition, William Bustard: Painting with light, assistant curator, Madeleine Hogan has spent a lot of time looking at this stained glass window.

The window is significant as William Bustard was one of the a few Brisbane artists who were commissioned in the 1920s to create a work to be featured in Brisbane City Hall upon opening. The window still sits in the Adelaide Street foyer of City Hall today and can be viewed from level 1. Due to the size and nature of the stained glass window it would have taken months of planning and preparation including several rounds of consultations and approvals.

The window depicts an early design for the Brisbane Coat of Arms, which was actually never registered (it was later replaced by the current Coat of Arms in 1946). Bustard’s window includes the Latin words conjuctis viribus, which translates to ‘with united powers’.  

After looking at the window dozens of times it was only recently that Madeleine noticed something a bit odd. Take a look at the picture again…notice anything?

The window today in City Hall

How about now?

Yes you are seeing right. The bottom right corner panel appears to be upside down….or was there a special reason for this?

After hunting down the original window design and checking it, Madeleine was able to confirm that the window was definitely not meant to be like that and that it must have been an installer’s mistake.

It still remains a mystery as to whose mistake this was, why it was made or if in fact the panel fell down at a later date and someone welded it back in the wrong position.