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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Frank Rowland - Commercial artist & art teacher

By Joan Bruce - Specialist Librarian, State Library of Queensland | 24 July 2018

Lindeman Is. - poster by Frank Rowland, ca. 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Frank Rowland (full name Arthur Francis Rowland) was born in 1912.  He was educated in Sydney and served as a camouflage artist in the Northern Territory during the second World War.

After the war, he started work as a freelance commercial artist in Brisbane.  In 1948 he became a part-time instructor in art at the Central Technical College and in 1949 began as an artist/illustrator on the Brisbane's Telegraph newspaper.  He stayed with the Telegraph until 1961.

Brisbane Telegraph advertisement (from scrapbook lent by Rowland Family)

This scrapbook of his commercial art shows the huge variety of work produced by artists in that profession.

Advertising brochure (from scrapbook lent by Rowland Family)

Commercial art by Frank Rowland (from scrapbook lent by Rowland Family)

Lindeman Island letterhead (from scrapbook lent by Rowland Family)

The lovely pencil drawings in this sketchbook were created during his early days at art school in Sydney.

Sketch by Frank Rowland (from sketchbook lent by Rowland Family)

Sketch of Rowland's sister (from sketchbook lent by Rowland Family)

Frank Rowland was an early member of the Half Dozen Group of artists and exhibited regularly  in Brisbane and Sydney.

He was also a judge for many years at Royal National Agricultural & Industrial exhibitions.

He died suddenly in 1976 while on sick leave at Lindeman Island.

State Library of Queensland's collection includes a large tourist poster by Frank Rowland and a collection of 32 original artworks, mostly watercolours.

Islands Exhibition

The Lindeman Island poster and four watercolours are featured in the Islands: Hidden Histories of Queensland Islands exhibition, held in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery from 30 June 2018 to 27 January 2019.

Looking across from Lindeman Island (29706 Frank Rowland Works of Art)

Joan Bruce - Specialist Librarian, State Library of Queensland


Lindeman Is. Great Barrier Reef poster by Frank Rowland. (Queensland Government Tourist Bureau, ca. 1940)

29706 Frank Rowland Works of Art 1930s/1940s-1970s

Practical art and craft drawing book : with illustrations and pages for individual drawings. (Brisbane, 1975)


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