Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

Podcasts archived on Kluge-Ruhe website • Tuesday December 1, 2009

Kluge-Ruhe is making available podcasts of past lectures including the John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities, as well as a panel discussion about the Australian government’s intervention in Aboriginal communities. Follow the links below to listen to or download the podcasts.

Artist Talk
Ken Thaiday, Sr.
July 10, 2009
Kluge-Ruhe Collection

Listen to Ken Thaiday’s lecture from July 10, 2009

John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities 2009
Mediating Forms: The spiritual and personal dimension of Yolngu portraiture
Howard Morphy, Ph.D.
Director, Research School of the Humanities, ANU
April 6, 2009
Morven Estate

Listen to Howard Morphy’s lecture from April 6, 2009

A Safe Keeping Place: Shifting Museum Spaces and Embedded Aboriginal Cultural Protocols
Kim Christen, Ph.D.
Washington State University
April 25, 2008
Kluge-Ruhe Collection

Listen to Kimberly Christen’s lecture from April 25, 2008

John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities 2008
What is contemporary about Aboriginal Art?
Terry E. Smith, Ph.D.
Andrew W. Mellon Professor, University of Pittsburgh
February 13, 2008
Newcomb Hall Ballroom, UVA

Listen to Terry E. Smith’s lecture from Feb. 13, 2008

Panel Discussion
Sacred or Profane? The Australian Government’s Intervention in Aboriginal Communities
Panelists: Howard Morphy, Frances Morphy, Josh Wheeler, Will Owen and Margo Smith
December 2, 2007
Newcomb Hall, South Meeting Room, UVA

Listen to the panel discussion from Dec. 2, 2007

Kluge-Ruhe undertakes preservation of bark paintings • Wednesday October 21, 2009

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia will undertake a major project to preserve bark paintings in the collection. The project, which involves cleaning and re-housing approximately 530 bark paintings, was supported by University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III through the allocation of University discretionary funds.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection is considered to be the most important collection of Australian Aboriginal art outside Australia. One third of the Kluge-Ruhe collection consists of bark paintings from northern Australia. Dating from the early 1940s to 2007, bark paintings in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection are historically and culturally significant. Demonstrating regional stylistic and thematic differences, bark paintings typically illustrate ancestral stories associated with the creation era know as The Dreaming. They are closely tied to art traditions such as rock art, body paint and ground sculpture.

Bark paintings are constructed from organic materials that are naturally unstable. The substrate consists of a sheet of bark from the Eucalyptus tetradonta (stringybark) tree. The paints are derived from pigments such as red and yellow ochres, pipe clay and charcoal mixed with natural and synthetic paint binders. During this project, Kluge-Ruhe staff will carefully examine and document each painting. Paintings will be surface cleaned if needed and re-housed in stackable storage customized for each work. The trays will enable staff to move, store and access bark paintings without handling them. This project will preserve the art, improve the appearance of the paintings, and make them more accessible to Kluge-Ruhe staff and researchers.

Culture Warriors exhibit in Washington DC • Monday September 28, 2009

Culture Warriors installation

The National Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors opened at the Katzen Art Center at American University on September 8 and runs through December 6. On loan from the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), the exhibit includes the work of 30 Indigenous artists representing every Australian state and territory. All of the works were created since 2004 in a variety of media, including painting on bark and canvas, sculpture, textiles, weaving, photography, video and printmaking. This inaugural exhibition was curated by Brenda Croft, former Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the NGA. The opening festivities were attended by Croft and eight of the artists included in the exhibition: Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, Daniel Boyd, Gordon Hookey, Ricky Maynard, Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr, Christopher Pease, Christian Bumbarra Thompson and Judy Watson. Australia’s Minister for the Evironment, Heritage and the Arts Peter Garrett, was also present at the opening.

On Friday, September 11 the artists visited the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and UVA Art Museum to see works on exhibit and in storage. One of the highlights of the visit was Jean Baptiste Apuatimi’s identification of Tiwi objects in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. After lunch, the group met students who are studying Australian Aboriginal art at the UVA Art Museum to see the bark paintings and large canvas from Kluge-Ruhe currently installed there. They walked over to the lawn for a brief orientation on Jefferson’s Academical Village before returning to Washington DC.

The Katzen Art Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free and there is on site parking. Click here for more information.

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