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(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

Article

Nancy Underhill

(b Sydney, Oct 12, 1881; d Jersey, Channel Islands, Aug 1, 1943).

Australian painter and patron. In 1920 his private income allowed him to stop practising medicine and to study art in Paris, where he explored how geometry could influence painting. He exhibited work in London, Paris and Brussels that reflected his awareness of Surrealism and of Cubism; he was one of the first Australian artists to apply Cubist spatial theory to art. Despite Power’s art being of minor influence on Australian art, two of his paintings Fleurs du Mal (1926) and Woman with Parasol (1927) form an important study collection at the University of Sydney as part of the Power Bequest.

Power bequeathed his collection of art to the University of Sydney. In addition, in 1962 the university received £A4 million as a benefaction from Power, whose aim was to ‘make available to the people of Australia the latest ideas and theories in the plastic arts by means of lectures and teaching and by the purchase of the most recent contemporary art of the world’. The bequest assisted various flexible, interlocked programmes based at the university: for example the library and public lecture programme run by the Department of Fine Arts and the publishing of monographs. A large survey collection of contemporary Western art was developed and in the 1980s much of the bequest’s income was used to develop ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1903; died 1976.

Painter. Figures.

Yirawala lived for many years at the Croker Island Mission, where collectors and ethnologists travelled to buy his work for museums and collections. Using ochre on a kind of papyrus, he depicted schematic figures in a typically ornamental style, and is considered one of the most remarkable painters on bark in west Arnhem Land. His figures represent the spirits of those who have departed, the ancestors. The exact sacred meaning of these paintings must escape us, but the mystery of their inventive richness and form challenges the onlooker....