’Indigenous Australian Collection: Namatjira Story’ concentrates on one of the largest thematic holdings in the Gallery’s Collection, including a special focus on the Hermannsburg School art movement that began at the Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg in Central Australia, also Namatjira’s birthplace, in the 1930s.
Namatjira occupies a significant place within Australian art history, being the first widely recognised Indigenous artist. His work Western MacDonnells c.1945 was the first by an Aboriginal person to enter the Collection in 1947.
Namatjira’s famous landscapes are on display along with the works of his five sons, artworks by Namatjira’s great-grandson Vincent Namatjira, a comprehensive display of watercolours by Hermannsburg School artists, and pottery by the Hermannsburg Potters. Other artists featured include Ginger Riley and Lin Onus, alongside William Dargie’s Archibald Prize winning Portrait of Albert Namatjira 1956.
The Australian Collection display captures major historical moments from first contact to colonisation, and exploration to immigration, with an emphasis on the Queensland experience. These spaces bring to life key strengths and narratives in our extensive Australian holdings.
The display brings the Indigenous and Contemporary Australian collections into conversation with our historical holdings, and explore stories about Queensland and Brisbane from the region’s own perspective. The display integrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works alongside the familiar non-Indigenous artists of this country, to tell a fuller story of Australian art.
Feature image detail: Vincent Namatjira Albert Namatjira in Sydney – Yeah! ‘Albert’s Story’ 2014