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Title

Allen

1933

Artist

Arthur Murch

Australia

08 Jul 1902 – 23 Sep 1989

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Hermannsburg Northern Territory Australia
    Date
    1933
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil on canvas on hardboard
    Dimensions
    48.0 x 39.7 cm board; 60.1 x 52.1 x 2.7 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. corner, pencil "A J MURCH 33".

    Credit
    Purchased 1933
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    591
    Copyright
    © Murch Family. Licensed by Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Arthur Murch

    Works in the collection

    30

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  • About

    In 1933 Arthur Murch travelled to Ntaria (Hermannsburg) in central Australia with a research team of Sydney doctors, living with Indigenous communities for six weeks. The trip sparked Murch’s interest in painting the people and landscapes of the Australian interior, which he continued over the next three decades. He later recalled, ‘when I think of the Centre it is not just time or place, but faces. I am looking into memory to find who might be written into Australian history’.

    This portrait depicts Allen, a young Arrrernte boy who lived at the Hermannsburg Mission. It shows Murch’s commitment to portraying the unique character of the people he encountered, by concentrating on what he believed to be the revealing details of their physical forms. It marks a significant development in 20th-century Western representations of Indigenous people.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Hermannsburg

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 8 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 10 publications

Other works by Arthur Murch

See all 30 works