Art Museum wins heritage grant

Flinders University Art Museum has been awarded a $5,380 federal Community Heritage Grant to fund a significance assessment of the Papunya Board Collection.

The Flinders University Art Museum collection of early Papunya Boards was acquired by Emeritus Professor JVS Megaw in the 1980s during a research trip to south-central Northern Territory.

In total 122 boards were purchased from Papunya Tula Artists Inc, including works by the community’s most senior and celebrated artists.

The FUAM grant was among 77 grants assigned to community groups and organisations from around Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections. Grants worth more than $415,000 were announced at the National Library of Australia in Canberra on 25 October.

In Canberra, FUAM Collections Manager Ms Nic Brown also attended a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

Ms Brown said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the Papunya Boards at the grassroots level.

“While the grant provides the funds, the workshop offers the expertise to help us protect the collection and make it accessible while it remains in the local context,” she said.

“The Significance Assessment enabled by the Community Heritage grant will result in better understandings of the values, meaning and importance of this collection, taking into consideration the views of the Papunya community today including direct descendants of the original painters.”

The CHG program is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.

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