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Exhibitions Previous 2012

Ancient Culture, Modern Art.

Aboriginal Art from Australia

17 February until 4 November 2012

The exhibition starts off with a presentation on Aboriginal culture and history and traditional Aboriginal art. After that the focus is on modern Aborginal art with a selection of important artworks, from different parts of Australia.

Why Aboriginal art in Groningen?

At the opening of the University of Groningen's ethnological museum 'Gerardus van der Leeuw' in 1978 the Australian embassy donated a collection of Australian ethnological artefacts to the museum's director, professor Van Baaren. These artefacts are now in the collection of the University Museum. The Groninger Museum also has Australian works of art in its collection. Both of these collection will now be on loan to the Aboriginal Art Museum in Utrecht. This occasion is reason  for the University Museum to organise a 'farewell' exhibition for these collections.

Contemporary Aboriginal art

The Europeans that colonized Australia introduced western materials and art techniques. In the twentieth century this brought a renewal in traditional Aborignal art. The exhibition shows important works of contemporary Aboriginal art from different parts of Australia.


The boomerang that was used by boomerang specialist Felix Hess (Den Haag, 1941), who obtained his docorate at the University of Groningen with a dissertation on the aerodynamics and movement of boomerangs, is one of the special objects in this exhibition. During the doctorate ceremony he demontrated the movement of the boomerang by throwing it around the chandelier in the ceremonial hall of the University. Hess's dissertation is to this day considered to be the standard work on boomerangs.

Last modified:13 August 2021 3.28 p.m.
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