An image of Allen

Arthur Murch

(Australia 08 Jul 1902 – 23 Sep 1989)

Allen

Location
Not on display
Further information

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.

Place of origin
Hermannsburg, Northern Territory, Australia
Year
1933
Media
Painting
Medium
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
Accession number
591
Copyright
© Murch Family. Licensed by Copyright Agency