Curtin takes custody of art


Elaine Wallam holding Edie Wallam's art work. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au...d449855
Elaine Wallam holding Edie Wallam's art work. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au...d449855

The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork was donated to Curtin University in May 2013 for educational and research purposes by Colgate University, New York, after the works were rediscovered after decades in storage.

The works were bought in 1956 by New York art collector Herbert Mayer, a 1929 Alumnus of Colgate University who donated the collection in 1966 to his alma mater.

It remained virtually unrecognised in storage at the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University until part of the collection was rediscovered by visiting Australian academic Howard Morphy in 2004.

In 2015, significant items directly connected to The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork were identified at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

The DAA recognised the importance of housing the collection in one location and offered to transfer custodianship, but retain ownership, of the artworks, letters, photographs and artefacts in their care to Curtin University.

A spokeswoman for the John Curtin Gallery said the works, created between 1946 and 1950, would signify a commitment to sharing, researching and preserving the collection for future generations.

The collection was transferred to Curtin University from Colgate University in May 2013 after negotiations between Colgate, Curtin, senior Elders of the Noongar community in the Great Southern region and the Mungart Boodja Art Centre.

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