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Collection

An image of Aboriginal family group by Julian Ashton

Julian Ashton

(England, Australia 27 Jan 1851 – 27 Apr 1942)

Title
Aboriginal family group
Other titles:
Gib it bacca Boss
Give blackfellow tobacco boss!
Place of origin
KiamaNew South WalesAustralia
Year
(circa 1886)
Media category
Watercolour
Materials used
pencil, watercolour, white gouache
Dimensions

38.0 x 25.3 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., "J.R. Ashton 188 (illeg.)".
Credit
Purchased 1888
Accession number
19
Location
Not on display
Further information

Julian Ashton was born in England and studied at the Royal Academy School, London, and at the Académie Julian, Paris, before coming to Australia in 1878 to work for the 'Illustrated Australian News' and 'Australasian Sketcher' in Melbourne. He moved to Sydney in 1883 to work on 'The picturesque atlas of Australasia'. Ashton was a major influence on the appreciation and teaching of art in Sydney, establishing his own art school, which still operates today. He was President of the Art Society of NSW and a trustee of the AGNSW.

According to his autobiography, 'Now came still evening on' (1941) pg 53 Ashton visited an Aboriginal camp some miles out of Kiama on the south coast of NSW, where he remembered seeing "a fine looking native and his two lubras… They lived in a little construction something like an Indian wigwam. They had two children – a boy of about six years and the other just out of babyhood. I persuaded the father to allow me to make a drawing of them. He stood with his hand out and holding the younger child in his arms."

Bibliography (13)

Julian Ashton, Now came still evening on, Sydney, 1941, 53-54, opp. 126 (illus.). titled 'Gib it bacca Boss'

Jane de Teliga, Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 1.

Geoffrey Dutton, The Art Gallery of South Australia Festival Exhibitions 1974, 'The Australian Aboriginal portrayed in art', pg. 34-41, Adelaide, 1974, 40. cat.no. 53; titled 'Gib it bacca Boss'

Dinah Dysart, Julian Ashton 1851-1942, Sydney, 1982, 13. cat.no. 20

Grafton Galleries, Exhibition of Australian art in London, London, 1898. cat.no. 129

Hendrik Kolenberg, Everyday life: prints drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European art, Sydney, 1994.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1991. cat.no. 2

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1888, Sydney, 1888, 78 (illus.). cat.no. 104, Watercolours, titled 'Gib it bacca Boss'

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1899, Sydney, 1899. cat.no. 479 Water Colours- Australian

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1893, Sydney, 1893, 110 (illus.). cat.no. 402, Australian Court

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1891, Sydney, 1891, 69 (illus.). cat.no. 257, Australian Court

Ian North (Editor), The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1974: Special exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia, The Australian Aborigine Portrayed in Art, p35-41, Adelaide, 1974. cat. no. 53; titled 'Gib it bacca Boss'

Author Unknown, Australian Artists Association Inaugural Exhibition, 1886, (illus.). titled 'Give blackfellow tobacco boss'.

Exhibition history (7)

Australian Artists Association Inaugural Exhibition 1886, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1886–1886

Exhibition of Australian art in London (1898), Grafton Galleries, London, 02 Apr 1898–31 Jul 1898

The Australian Aborigine Portrayed in Art: Adelaide Festival of Arts 1974, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Mar 1974 -

Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980

Julian Ashton, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 14 Nov 1981–31 Jan 1982

Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection (1991), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 1991–07 Jul 1991

Everyday Life, prints, drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European Art: