Aboriginal artworks created by members of the Stolen Generation are returning home from a New York university which has possessed the historic Australian art for almost 50 years.
Colgate University will transfer to Curtin University 119 indigenous artworks, including drawings and paintings created by Noongar children between 1945 and 1951 at the Carrolup Native School and Settlement in the Great Southern region.
The artwork attracted international news coverage in 2005 when it was exhibited in Colgate’s Picker Art Gallery.
A painting by Reynold Hart called Hunting was presented to Curtin at a ceremony in Perth on today to symbolise the future transfer of the full collection.
The art pieces were given to Colgate in 1966 by alumnus Herbert Mayer, a famous New York collector.
He purchased the works from Florence Rutter, a major benefactor to the Carrolup School.
The artwork features native landscape, bush scenes, animals, hunting and traditional Noongar cultural activities.
The collection has been, and will remain, part of a joint study between Curtin and Colgate.
Over the past eight years, many Colgate students have travelled to WA to visit the Mungart Boodja Art Centre and the John Curtin Gallery to learn about Noongar art and culture.
Colgate professor Ellen Percy Kraly initiated the artwork transfer more than a year ago and said the relocation of the art would allow its conservation and exhibition for future generations of Noongar people.
“The work has so much meaning in country that it deserves to be within the hearts, souls, and eyes of the people,” she said.