Beyond Dreamings Symposium

Thursday, February 21 - 5:00 PM


The 1988 exhibition Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia at the Asia Society Galleries in New York catapulted Aboriginal art onto the world stage. Dreamings was the first major introduction of Aboriginal art to American audiences and represented a major turning point in its international reception. Anthropologist Fred Myers describes it as the moment when “Aboriginal art emphatically became “fine art.” Dreamings also signaled a radical shift in the ways Indigenous artists and communities were represented in the modern museum. This symposium celebrates three decades since Dreamings, reconsidering its historical moment and examining its legacies. Speakers include artists, curators, art historians, anthropologists and critics who will consider the future of contemporary Indigenous Australian art in the post-Dreamings era.


Thursday, February 21, Harrison Small Auditorium

5:00 pm: Keynote, Aboriginal Art Over the Last 30 Years with Indigenous Curator Djon Mundine

Friday, February 22, Harrison Small Auditorium

9:30 am: Coffee and refreshments

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: When Aboriginal Art Became Fine Art, with Chris Anderson, John Carty, Françoise Dussart, Fred Myers and Peter Sutton.

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Artist Balang John Mawurndjul Discusses His Work with Murray Garde

2:00 pm: Indigenous Australian Art in Contemporary Art Discourse, with Maia Nuku, Henry F. Skerritt and Terry Smith.

5:30 – 7:00 pm: Reception at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA (note: this event is in a different location, a 20 minute drive from Harrison Small Auditorium)

Saturday, February 23, Kluge-Ruhe Collection

10:30 am: Gallery Talks. UVA graduate student curators and the symposium speakers at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA (note: this event is in a different location, a 20 minute drive from Harrison Small Auditorium)


CHRIS ANDERSON  Principal at Yirri Global and Senior Advisor Acorn International

JOHN CARTY  Head of Humanities, South Australian Museum, and Professor of Anthropology, University of Adelaide

FRANÇOISE DUSSART  Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Connecticut

MURRAY GARDE  Linguist/anthropologist, Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre

BALANG JOHN MAWURNDJUL AM  Renowned Kuninjku artist

DJON MUNDINE OAM  Indigenous Australian curator, writer, artist and activist (Bandjalung)

FRED MYERS  Silver Professor of Anthropology, New York University

MAIA NUKU  Evelyn A.J. Hall and John A. Friede Associate Curator for Oceanic Art (Maori – Ngai Tai), Metropolitan Museum of Art

HENRY F. SKERRITT  Curator of the Indigenous Arts of Australia, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA

TERRY SMITH  Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of Pittsburgh

MARGO SMITH AM  Director of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA

PETER SUTTON  Curator, anthropologist and Senior Research Fellow, University of Adelaide


Auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Event Type
Lecture / Workshop


Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

Date / Time

Thursday, February 21, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


(434) 244-0234
More Info: