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'Frontier' collecting in the 21st century. The Charles Darwin University Art collection in Australia's Northern Territory

Angel, Anita (2005). 'Frontier' collecting in the 21st century. The Charles Darwin University Art collection in Australia's Northern Territory. In: Rhapsody 21C: Future of University Museums and Galleries Conference, Launceston, Tasmania, 25-27 May 2005.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Angel, Anita
Title 'Frontier' collecting in the 21st century. The Charles Darwin University Art collection in Australia's Northern Territory
Conference Name Rhapsody 21C: Future of University Museums and Galleries Conference
Conference Location Launceston, Tasmania
Conference Dates 25-27 May 2005
Conference Publication Title Rhapsody 21C: Future of University Museums and Galleries Conference
Place of Publication Launceston, Tasmania
Publisher Academy of the Arts - School of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Tasmania
Publication Year 2005
ISBN 1 86295 246 9   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract The art collections of regional universities have been described as a 'well kept secret'; the Charles Darwin University Art Collection is no exeption, but is exeptional. Its evolution and future prospects reflect the environment and culture of a region distinguished from the rest of the nation, both conceptually and geographically, as 'frontier'. The 'frontier', as both 'an idea and a place'. has provided an enduring national mythology and a convenient boundary that have shaped the public profile of the Northern Territory and forged its sense of distinctiveness. Yet, as Tom Griffiths has observed: 'when, as historians, we get close to the 'frontier', we often find it evaporating either into intimacy or distance.' Charles Darwin University and its art collection are uniquely placed to embrace the particular challenges and opportunities of the 'frontier' of the 21st century. This paper considers the collection's development from an art school 'teaching collection' to a 'university collection' with close ties to the society it serves. Three key phases are discussed: the establishment of a Northern Territory university in 1989, including the creation of a 'university collection' of over a hundred works of art, as well as a discrete collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts; management during the 1990s by the University Art Co;;ection Committee, which formulated and implemented ploicies and procedures for existing holdings and aquired works reflecting a North Australian perspective; and the establishment in 1993 of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Print-Making Workshop at the university, with the collection now comprising one of the largest Indigenous print archives in the world. In 1993, the collection numbered just over 170 works of art. In the 21st century, with over 1200 works, and given a university commitment outreach and cultural exchange, the collection is poised to reveal another side of the frontier.
 
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator