Death of the Anthropologist

Julie DOWLING: artist

Not On Display

About the work

When I began looking into my family’s history, especially about my great
great-grandmother Melbin (who was taken to England as an exhibit) I
discovered that the number of artefacts and human bones in museums
throughout the world was very large. Bones were a commodity and
traded at ‘science fairs’ or ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ throughout the world.
Many of these ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ still exist today.
I looked at the names of the men who contributed to this ‘science’
and realised that many were amateur anthropologists such as Baldwin
Spencer. Now long dead, I painted a picture of this fact. I also wanted
to paint how the present-day children in our communities are still alive
despite such treatment and that those bones must be returned to rest in
their country.
Death of the Anthropologist
Artist/Maker and role
Julie DOWLING: artist
red ochre, blood and synthetic polymer paint on canvas
120.0 x 153.0cm
Credit line
Purchased 1996
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.