William Leslie Bowles
Born 26 February 1885
Died 21 February 1954
Active: 1920 - 1932
Country of birth and death: Australia
Born at Leichhardt, New South Wales. He studied carving and modelling at the Brisbane Technical College under Lewis J. Harvey. Then in 1910 won a scholarship to study in Britain. He worked there with several sculptors, including Bertram Mackennal, also attending night classes (possibly at the City and Guilds School and Royal Academy). During the First World War he enlisted in the 2nd/25th London Regiment, and then joined the Royal Tank Corps. After the war he worked and exhibited in England but then returned to Australia in 1924, settling in Prahran, Melbourne. However he retained links with the UK, for example through his membership of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. He died at his home and studio at Frankston, Melbourne.
Dates are usually the year a work was exhibited so may differ from date of production.
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Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
1920 - 1923
Exhibited twice, one work each year ('The Alien', statuette, cat. no. 1349, in 1920; and 'Herbert J. Cawood Esq.', head, cat. no. 1476, in 1923).
Institutional and Business Connections
Associate member of Royal Society of British Sculptors
March 1926 - 1932
Note that in 1926, the R.B.S. 'Annual Report' records that Bowles, who was elected in March, 'has gone to Australia and has not yet taken up his Membership'. Resigned in 1932.
Descriptions of Practice
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
'Sculptor' and worker making sculpture
Australian Dictionary of Biography Online
Nancy D. H. Underhill, 'Bowles, William Leslie (1885 - 1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, Melbourne University Press, 1979, p. 363 (accessed 1 February 2010)
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
RG14PN583 RG78PN21 RD7 SD4 ED6 SN163
Royal Society of British Sculptors. Annual Report of Council, with Accounts for the Year Ending 31 December 1926, to be Presented at the Twenty-Second Ordinary General Meeting, 1927
Citing this record
'William Leslie Bowles', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib1_1219783784, accessed 28 Jul 2014]