See some of the earliest views of South Australia by a European through the beautiful colour images of artist George French Angas. Born in 1822, he was the eldest son of George Fife Angas, after whom the South Australian town Angaston is named. However, the young Angas rejected his father's world of commerce and farming to follow a life involving art and nature, studying natural history painting and lithography before embarking on his travels.
Arriving in Adelaide in January 1844, he rapidly set about an extensive series of journeys to the Murray Lakes, Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula and the South East, capturing his impressions of the young colony - its landscapes, inhabitants and flora and fauna. After a trip to New Zealand, he returned to South Australia in 1845 and travelled to Port Lincoln.
With his impressive portfolio of watercolours, he then sailed for London and in 1847 published the magnificent folio South Australia illustrated, which has served ever since as a ‘snapshot’ of South Australia in 1844. The book contains 60 plates with accompanying text.
Angas returned to South Australia in 1860 but ended his years in England where he published several books on Australia and Polynesia as well as illustrating accounts of exploration by John McDouall Stuart and John Forrest. He died in 1886.
Image: Lower falls of Glen Stuart. Angas, George French, artist, 1846. SLSA: B 15276/23
How do I get to the State Library by public transport?
The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.
You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.
Is there car parking near the State Library?
The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.
There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.
Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?
Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.
There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.
How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?
You can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays. The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.
Is there a cafe at the State Library?
Yes, the State Library Cafe by St Raphaels located on the ground floor in the glass foyer.