The original Old Masters exhibition debuted at the National Museum in 2013. This international touring version of the exhibition was on show at:
- National Taiwan Museum, 4 October 2019 to 9 February 2020
- Sichuan Museum, 26 June to 25 August 2019
- Shenzhen Museum, 13 April to 26 May 2019
- Shanghai Natural History Museum, 15 November 2018 to 6 January 2019
- National Museum of China, Beijing, 4 July to 2 September 2018
The exhibition included artworks, plus carvings that share designs often used in bark paintings. It celebrated the knowledge, genius and work of over 40 master artists, including Narritjin Maymuru, Yirawala, Mawalan Marika, and their contemporaries.
Mimih Hunting, about 1980, Dick Nguleingulei Murrumurru, Bularlhdja clan, Dangbon and Kunwinjku languages, about 1920–1988, 106 x 58.5 cm, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection, collected by Gunbalanya (Oenpelli). National Museum of Australia
Totemic Crocodile, 1965, Yirawala, Born clan, Kuninjku language, about 1897–1976, 80.2 x 64 cm, Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2, collected at Minjilang (Croker Island). National Museum of Australia
Rirratjiŋu Mortuary Ceremony, 1967, by Mathaman Marika, Rirratjiŋu clan, 1920–1970, 89.6 x 46 cm, collected by Helen Groger-Wurm at Yirrkala. National Museum of Australia
Fight between Crocodile-Man and Stingray-Man, 1963, Narritjin Maymuru, Maŋgalili clan, about 1914–1982, 94 x 62.5 cm, collected by Karel Kupka at Yirrkala. National Museum of Australia
Creatures of the Arafura Swamp, about 1984, John Bulunbulun, Gurrumba Gurrumba clan, Ganalbiŋu language, 1946–2010, 125 x 91 cm, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection. National Museum of Australia
Totems of the Manharrŋu, Mortuary Rites, 1966, David Malangi, Manharrŋu clan, Manyarrŋu language, 1927–1999, 76 x 54 cm, collected by JA Davidson at Milingimbi. National Museum of Australia
Essays from key scholars of Australian Indigenous bark painting, including Howard Morphy, Wally Caruana and Luke Taylor, present new research on the bark paintings in the Museum’s collection and the role and significance of bark paintings in the broader cultural context.
A new feature of this edition is a section on reading bark paintings, which explores the iconography of and stories behind many of the paintings from the show. The book also includes information on the styles and aesthetics of the paintings, and biographical information about the artists.
310mm high x 205mm wide, 256 pp, full colour
National Museum of Australia Press, July 2018
$A39.95 at the National Museum Shop or