Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira 1902-1959

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9780642541369: Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira 1902-1959
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In 1951, a small, blue envelope reached the post office in Alice Springs. The address was simple: "Albert Namatjira, Famous Aboriginal Artist, Australia." It had been posted in India by an autograph hunter whose confidence in its delivery was not unreasonable, in lisght of the accurate description of the intended recipient. Albert Namatjira was, indeed, famous. He was also Aboriginal--a member of the Aranda "tribe" of Central Australia, now referred to as the Western Aranda (Arrernte) language group--and a pre-eminent artist.

After the success of his first solo exhibition in Melbourne in 1938, Namatjira increasingly became "public property." Born at the dawn of a new century, his life spanned periods of radical change. Today--a hundred years later, at the birth of a new millennium--Namatjira, once a national symbol, has become a "scapegoat" of both the social policies of the time and aesthetic prejudices, his art virtually ignored by the mainstream of the Australian art world. Especially commissioned for the centenary of his birth by the Gordon Darling Foundation and the National Gallery of Australia, this publication provides the opportunity to redress this neglect.

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