Mural at St Joseph’s Church, Kangaroo Point, 1948

“I have tried to show the Resurrection like the opening of a flower”, said artist James Wieneke after he had completed his mural at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane in June 1948. The Courier-Mail (3/6/1948) reported the mural, situated above the church’s sanctuary, had taken Wieneke three months to paint. “The mural shows Christ in His glory appearing among a heavenly host”, he told the newspaper.

Artist James Wieneke putting the finishing touches to a mural for St Joseph's Church at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, 1948. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 141102

Artist James Wieneke putting the finishing touches to a mural for St Joseph’s Church at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, 1948. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 141102

News of the completion of the mural was also featured in the Catholic Leader (10/6/1948), with the author of the article praising the quality of Wieneke’s work – “Completion of the mural over the sanctuary of the church at Kangaroo Point marks a decided advance in ecclesiastical art here in Brisbane, and, we hope, will see a departure from the sausage-machine junk that too often passes as “holy”…Mr Wieneke has admirably succeeded, and those who are responsible for the commission deserve the praise and thanks of all who long to see Mother Church once more the patron and inspiration of a living art.”

James Wieneke at work on the fresco at St Josephs Church, Kangaroo Point, ca. 1948. From 7609 James Wieneke Collection of Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 165420

James Wieneke at work on the fresco at St Josephs Church, Kangaroo Point, ca. 1948. From 7609 James Wieneke Collection of Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 165420

Scaffolding used by James Wieneke at St Josephs Church, Kangaroo Point, 1948. From 7609 James Wieneke Collection of Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 165421

Scaffolding used by James Wieneke at St Josephs Church, Kangaroo Point, 1948. From 7609 James Wieneke Collection of Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 165421

State Library holds several photographs of the mural, some of which are part of the James Wieneke Collection of Photographs.

Aside from being a professional artist and illustrator, Wieneke was also an art teacher, art critic, director of the Moreton Galleries (1951-1967) and director of the Queensland Art Gallery (1967-1974). He died in 1981.

James Wieneke, artist and Gallery director, photographed in uniform during the Second World War on Thursday Island, Queensland, 1942-1946. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 183389

James Wieneke, artist and Gallery director, photographed in uniform during the Second World War on Thursday Island, Queensland, 1942-1946. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 183389

SLQ holds a number of other collections related to the life and works of James Wieneke including –

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland