Henry Walker was mayor of Collingwood in 1873, 1875, 1878 and 1880. Walker was a bookkeeper and salesman for several Melbourne merchants before managing and then buying a soap and candle factory by the Yarra River at Collingwood.
Thomas William ‘Tom’ Roberts (1856-1931) was a prominent Australian artist and a key member of the Heidelberg School, represented in numerous state public collections such as the National Gallery of Victoria. Roberts was one of the first painters to recognise the special character of the Australian landscape.
In 1889, Roberts produced a ceremonial yet elegant portrait of Henry Walker, Mayor of Collingwood, which is now one of the most prized and celebrated works in Council’s Art & Heritage Collection.