Our Lever family lineage has been in the picture framing trade for centuries in the Netherlands and then beginning in Australia with the Immigration of William Lever with his family in 1953. Starting out, crammed into a garage with a family of 7, William was employed at the steel works, making frames and painting in his spare time, renting another garage down the road as his studio to do so. His son William H Lever, aged 17 at the time, a little more adept at English than his father, started setting up agents for his fathers hand made mouldings, gradually building a self-sustaining business over a period of 2-3 years.
Two of William the First’s other children, Hennie and John became skilled craft persons themselves, joining in their fathers trade. Alas, the demand for hand made work was soon made redundant by the advent of machine made mouldings imported firstly from Canada in the 70s, followed by Asian countries, displacing demand by Illawarra’s consumers, effectively removing the craftsman’s component of the trade locally. There were still frames to be assembled however and assembled they were. There also remained the odd commission for one or other of Australia’s Galleries, and, there was Art Supplies.
Since the advent of Covid-19, now, even the assembly of frames has come to a screeching halt. It remains to be seen if there will be room for it’s resumption in the near future. Life, however, is ever changing, adapting, evolving. Art is its expression and we still sell Art Supplies, as we have done for decades, sustaining the Illawarra in that regard from our humble store-front alone, only now, thrust into the cyber realms.
Hello World, we are Levers Art Supplies!