Skip to content
  • 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission
  • Shop
Robert Edwards has played a crucial role in museums, Aboriginal art and culture, and the visual arts in Australia. At this tribute, friends, colleagues, protégés and admirers celebrate Bob’s contribution over more than seven decades of public life.

A tribute to Dr Robert Edwards AO: welcome and keynote address

A welcome by Andrew Sayers followed by Neil MacGregor’s reflections on Bob Edwards as museum curator, anthropologist and archaeologist, founding director of the Aboriginal Arts Board and exhibitions wheeler and dealer.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Neil MacGregor and Andrew Sayers

Early curatorial career at the South Australian Museum

Highlights from Bob Edwards’ fieldwork, collecting Aboriginal stone tools and documenting rock art and engravings, and his time at the South Australian Museum in the 1960s–70s.

Bob Edwards: from orchardist to ethnographer

Childhood friend Dick Richards provides an insight into Bob Edwards’ early years, from growing up on family farms on the Adelaide Plains, to market gardening, the Royal Geographic Society and his anthropological studies.

Bob Edwards: museums and archaeology

An esteemed panel discusses Bob Edwards’ impact in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, museums and museum management.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Robin Hirst, Philip Jones, Dick Kimber, John Mulvaney, Nic Peterson and Mike Smith

Foundation of the Aboriginal Arts Board

Former members of the Aboriginal Arts Board describe the years of its establishment under the directorship of Bob Edwards.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Chris Fondum, Jenny Isaacs, Carole Johnson and John Moriarty

Bringing the world’s heritage to Australia

Former National Gallery of Australia director Betty Churcher and art scholar Caroline Turner discuss Bob Edwards’ contribution to persuading overseas gallery directors to allow exhibitions of masters to come to Australia.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Betty Churcher and Caroline Turner

A portrait of Bob Edwards

Doug Hall discusses John Elliott’s portrait of Bob Edwards at the National Portrait Gallery and how it portrays elements of Bob’s character, including his cultural diplomacy and advocacy for Australia’s Indigenous people.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: Doug Hall

Contributions from friends and colleagues

The man of the moment, Bob Edwards, responds to messages from friends and colleagues who paid tribute to his work.
Open player in a new tab
Presenters: John Bannon, Bob Edwards, Howard Morphy, Peter Stanley and Michael Treloar
Return to Top