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The New Chau Chak Wing Museum in Sydney

Chau Chak Wing

ABOVE: Mask, aiaimunu. Elema; Purari Delta, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea.
Before 1887.
Cane, barkcloth, fiber, pigment.
H: 81 cm.

Collected by Theodore Francis Bevan, Evorra village, Wame (Queen’s Jubilee) River, Purari Delta, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea, 1887.

Macleay Collections, Ethnography. Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney, inv. ETA.469. Photo: David James, 2020.

SYDNEY—The city of Sydney has had a new museum since last November: The Chau Chak Wing Museum is a museum of art, science, and history at the University of Sydney intended for both its students, offering them specific educational programs, and for the public at large.

The new institution has been and is the venue for eighteen exhibitions so far, shown in 8,000 square meters of space spread out over five floors. Two of them are of particular interest to non- Western art aficionados.

The first of those is Gululu dhuwala djalkiri, a show that presents over three hundred and fifty pieces by about one hundred artists from over twenty Yolngu clans drawn from the mu- seum’s Arnhem Land collections.

The second is called Object/Art/Specimen and sheds light on the multidis- ciplinary orientation of not only the museum, but also of the university’s research and collecting activities since its inception in the 1860s. The result is a show with six subjects that features and juxtaposes a very heterogeneous ensemble of works that includes items like West Papuan nets, Jordanian pottery shards, and natural history specimens.

For more information, see our article in our  issue #100 - Summer 2021

Chau Chak Wing Museum

Chau Chak Wing

Chau Chak Wing

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