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Arnhem Land bark painting: the western reception 1850-1990 / by Marie Geissler
Bib ID 8148875
Format BookBook, OnlineOnline [text, volume]
Geissler, Marie, author
Online Versions
Description [Wollongong, New South Wales] : University of Wollongong, 2017 
2 volumes : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 30 cm. 

This thesis surveys in a strictly chronological fashion discourses that were critical to promoting changes in the understanding of Arnhem Land bark painting from 1850 to 1990. The thesis is based on extensive surveys of the record in relation to early historical accounts, reports, press clippings and catalogues of exhibitions of Aboriginal art and bark painting in particular. While this study does not depart from existing perspectives on the reception of Aboriginal art, such as those of Jones, Lowish, Morphy and Taylor, it presents a more nuanced account and its specific focus is the reception of Arnhem Land bark painting. Its chronological period is 140 years and it includes new data from the press. It elaborates more fully on the reception of Aboriginal art in the gallery. It considers 177 press commentaries (from 1853-1990), many of which have not, to my knowledge, been hitherto noted, and creates broader contexts by means of the chronological documentation and analysis of the commentaries detailed in 62 key exhibition catalogues of Aboriginal art. As well, - 17 local and international professionals in the fields of anthropology, art and business who have played critical roles in the development of the understandings for Aboriginal art and Arnhem Land bark painting since the 1960s have been interviewed. An underlying aim of the thesis has been to document the shifts in perception that occurred in regards to emerging understandings in the historical records of the sophistication of Aboriginal people and their art; importantly, it aims to identify how and when these first happened and what the mechanisms were that allowed this to become widely understood by mainstream audiences. It therefore tracks accounts of the earliest periods of contact, noting evidence of these initial perceptions and the changes that followed.


This thesis is presented as part of the requirements for the conferral of the degree: Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), School of Arts, English and Media, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong.

Includes bibliographical references.

Also available online. Address as at 29/01/2020:

Subjects Painting, Australian -- Northern Territory -- Arnhem Land -- Aboriginal artists.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Painting -- Australia -- Arnhem Land (N.T.)  |  Painting, Aboriginal Australian -- Northern Territory -- Arnhem Land.  |  Painting, Aboriginal Australian -- Australia -- Arnhem Land (N.T.)  |  Bark painting -- Australia -- Arnhem Land (N.T.)  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Northern Territory -- Arnhem Land -- Painting.  |  Bark painting -- Northern Territory -- Arnhem Land.


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Nq 2020-197
Copy: N hbk (volume 1)
Main Reading Room
Nq 2020-198
Copy: N hbk (volume 2)
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.