William Bustard was a famous Queensland artist, illustrating editions of the classic Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, and creating many stained glass windows in Brisbane.

Here are some fast Quirky’s Quirk facts: 

• William Bustard is a world renowned stained glass window artist whose work features in many heritage listed buildings in Brisbane.

• Bustard was born in England in 1894 and studied various artistic techniques at Slade School of Arts and Scarborough School of Science & Art.

• In 1921 William Bustard and his wife, Lilly, migrated to Queensland where he took up art teaching.

• He was a foundation member of the Queensland Art Gallery from 1931-1937 and Chairman of its Art Advisory Committee, although he ended up resigning in disgust at their conservatism.

• However some of Bustards most famous work is his stained glass windows.


• In Brisbane there are Bustard stained-glass windows in St John’s Cathedral, St Anne’s Presbyterian Church, and in City Hall as well as an important group of 49 windows in St Augustine’s Church of England at Hamilton.

• Bustard also illustrated editions of Robinson Crusoe (1949) and Treasure Island (1956). In fact a copy of Robinson Crusoe illustrated by him was presented to the Queen on her Brisbane visit in 1954.

• The beautiful 4.2 metre stained glass windows in City Hall designed by Bustard depict an early design for the Brisbane Coat of Arms which was never actually registered and was replaced by the current Coat of Arms in 1946.

• To learn more and to see some of Bustard’s work Visit Museum of Brisbane’s “William Bustard: Painting with Light” exhibition on now until 31 Jan 2016.

• The exhibition has over 70 original works on show, including many of his detailed hand-drawn stained-glass designs.

• For more information, visit the Museum of Brisbane website or call 3339 0800.

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