28 Nov 2007 – 3 Feb 2008
Temporary Exhibition Gallery. Free.
Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert showcases the National Museum of Australia's extraordinary collection of Western Desert art.
An important exhibition "Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert" has just opened at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. The Museum holds an outstanding collection of Papunya Tula art including many large canvases. Most of these paintings have never been seen in Australia in the three decades since they were painted.
They were mainly collected by the Aboriginal Arts Board (AAB) of the Australia Council, which was created in 1973. Amongst other things it provided grants for Aboriginal communities to employ managers and to help sustain Aboriginal culture and arts. Some of the Papunya paintings bought by the Board were lent or given to Australian embassies around the world while others were donated to public museums and galleries. These helped to raise the profile of Aboriginal art in the commercial art market.
In the 1980s the AAB wound up its exhibition program and in 1990 the collection of Papunya paintings was transferred to the Museum. These form the substance of this outstanding exhibition.
The exhibition is organized by the sequence of coordinators with Papunya Tula Artists starting with Geoffrey Bardon and going as far as Andrew Crocker at the beginning of the 1980s.
Follow the links below to learn more about the Papunya collection, the artists, exhibition catalogue and one of our many events and children's activities.