Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

We need your Vote! • Tuesday August 16, 2011

A bark painting from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection has been nominated as one of Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts by the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM). From August 15th to September 20th, the public is invited to vote for their favorite endangered artifact. VAM’s independent peer review panel will take public votes into consideration when determining the “top 10.” Winners will receive assistance launching a fundraising campaign to restore their artifact.

We need your help. Vote for our entry by selecting Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at UVA from the drop down menu and hitting “submit.” See all of the entries here.

This bark painting is one of several by artist Narritjin Maymuru on related themes in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. It depicts a Manggalili clan story associated with Djarrakpi (Blue Mud Bay) in northeast Arnhem Land, Australia. It also refers to a long history of interaction between coastal Aboriginal people and Indonesian traders from Macassar. The story involves two ancestral hunters who went out in search of parrot fish. They were eventually killed in a storm, which is alluded to by symbols such as the bird, the sail, and mast of the boat. Although the boat and mast were introduced to Aboriginal people by Macassans, this bark suggests an ancestral story from the creation era, predating Macassan contact. It is an excellent example of narrative in Yolngu art, depicting the same fishermen at different moments in the story. This work demonstrates the creativity of an individual artist in depicting major themes of Yolngu art.

See a video made by Kluge-Ruhe summer intern Chloe Delaney about this painting.

For more information about how you can help the Kluge-Ruhe Collection with our conservation efforts, lease contact Margo Smith at 434 244-0234.