The Honourable Sir Leo Cussen
(1859 - 1933)
Leo Finn Bernard Cussen was born at Portland Victoria in 1859 and died in 1933. He graduated from law school in 1887 with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts. He was called to the Victorian Bar in 1886. While a barrister he played for the Bar Cricket XI and from 1907 until his death he was the President of the Melbourne Cricket Club.
He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1906. In 1922 he received a Knighthood for invaluable service to his country. Sir Leo Cussen died in 1933.
He was deeply respected by other members of the judiciary and in 1972 the Leo Cussen Institute now known as the Leo Cussen Centre of Law was, at the wish of the profession, named after him.
Artist – John Longstaff
JJohn Campbell Longstaff (1861-1941) was born in Clunes, Victoria, the son of a store keeper. In 1882, he began his art studies at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. He was the winner of the National Gallery’s first travelling scholarship in 1887, which facilitated studies in Paris, London and Spain. He returned to Australia in 1895 and established a portraiture practice in Melbourne, but returned to England in 1901.
In 1918-1919, Longstaff served with the Australian Imperial Force as an official war artist. He returned to live in Melbourne permanently in 1920.
John Longstaff won the Archibald Prize five times during the 1920s and 1930s. The Victorian Bar’s portrait of Sir Leo Cussen, attributed to Longstaff, was painted around that time.