Category Archives: Australia

Two IAL Courses Running in Australia in July

Posted on: April 4, 2019 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

We are excited to announce that the Institute of Art and Law, in collaboration with the Australasian Registrars Committee, will be running two of its most popular courses in Australia this year in July. Diploma in Law and Collections Management The five-day Diploma in Law and Collections Management course will run in Melbourne from 8 […]

Is this sovereign land? James Cook and the images of conquest

Posted on: August 10, 2018 by Alexander Herman

An exhibition entitled James Cook: The Voyages, currently on show at the British Library, gives an excellent overview of the journeys around the world taken by the famous explorer in the mid-to-late 18th century. The eponymous captain is of course known for being the first European to explore the eastern coast of Australia and, more contentiously, […]

Mossgreen Auction House: A Fall from Grace

Posted on: March 12, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

The Australian Financial Review recently reported the collapse of Mossgreen Auction House, which has left the Australian art market reeling and industry insiders calling for reform.  The auction house is now being wound down after failed attempts to restructure the company. Founded in 2004 by British-born Paul Sumner, Mossgreen Auction House and Gallery quickly grew to […]

Two more Indian artefacts returned by Australia

Posted on: September 21, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Following on from the return of the Shiva Nataraja idol from the National Gallery of Australia in 2014, two more Indian artefacts are now set to be restituted by the same institution to their country of origin. These are the sculptures ‘Goddess Pratyangira’ and ‘Worshippers of the Buddha’, both purchased by the gallery in 2005 […]

Aboriginal bark etching returned to Australia… for now

Posted on: April 15, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Since we last reported on the matter, there have been some (potentially positive) developments on the issue of the Australian Aboriginal bark etchings in the collection of the British Museum being claimed by descendants of the Dja Dja Wurrung people who had initially made them in the mid 19th century. An article by Paul Daley in the Guardian from […]

Sydney and Auckland ARC conference recap

Posted on: April 12, 2016 by Alexander Herman

I was lucky enough to attend the Australasian Registrars Committee annual conference last month, a two-part affair taking place in Sydney on 18th March and Auckland on 21st March, in order to present a paper on museums, mass digitisation and copyright. The events were held at two stunning locations: Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular Quay between the Harbour […]

Art and Limitation Periods

Posted on: August 19, 2015 by Alexander Herman

A painting was stolen in 1991. It was a work referred to as Girl in Sunlight by Australian impressionist Rupert Bunny (see below). It was owned by James Watt from Melbourne. Watt tried to recover the painting, but there was nothing he could do. He died in 1993. In May 2010 the painting was seized by the […]

Behind the scenes of the Subhash Kapoor operation

Posted on: July 30, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

An interesting and in-depth article appeared last week in the New York Times about Subhash Kapoor’s antiquities smuggling operation. This involved looted antiquities that had been taken from a number of cultural and religious sites throughout India, then sold to unsuspecting buyers. These were buyers of importance, including the National Gallery of Australia, which had purchased […]

Criticism mounts ahead of BM show on Aboriginal art

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Having highlighted the issue in an earlier post, the criticism of the upcoming British Museum exhibition, Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization (a purposely ambiguous title?) has become more vociferous with a cutting article published recently in The Guardian provocatively entitled ‘Preservation or plunder? The battle over the British Museum’s Indigenous Australian show’. Past events involving the Dja Dja Wurrung bark etchings are […]

Demand for return of bark etchings as new exhibition set to open

Posted on: March 13, 2015 by Alexander Herman

The British Museum has an upcoming exhibition of art and artefacts from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders entitled Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization set to open on 23 April 2015. However, as one recent Guardian article makes clear, all is not well in relations between the museum and representatives of certain indigenous groups, namely the Dja Dja Wurrung people of central Victoria. This […]