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On the possible role of the Aboriginal Arts Board in the Marketing of Art from Yirrkala, Submission to the [ANU] Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts 1975

Author(s): Howard Morphy

Journal: Journal of Art Historiography
ISSN 2042-4752

Volume: 4;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Aboriginal art | marketing of art | Yirrkala | Australia Council | Aboriginal Arts Board | tourist art

The document is a submission that I made to the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Education Science and the Arts in 1975 following my initial period of fieldwork into the art of the Yolngu people of Eastern Arnhem Land. In my submission I drew attention to the very different markets with which Yolngu art production was engaged, ranging from the general tourist market to the emerging market for Aboriginal fine art. I argued that it was important to recognise the differences between these markets and to ensure that a stronger relationship was developed between the context of production and the marketing of the art. I argued that it was important to ensure that those involved in the purchasing of art and craft locally in the mission context were aware of the complex nature of the global art market in order to ensure the long-term growth and development of regional fine art production. I argued that the Aboriginal Arts Board itself might take on the role of acting as artists’ agents for remote communities, closing the distance between the artists and the market.

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