In the 1980s, following rising attention in metropolitan centres and the supportive work of locally based art advisers in Indigenous communities,  some artists from the same region and broad kinship networks as those sampled by Charles Mountford’s collecting in 1948 had achieved artistic ‘careers’, been represented repeatedly in exhibitions, and had reached diverse audiences and collections in the wider world.This chapter considers Indigenous art’s impact in Australian art museums in the last decades of the twentieth century.
In the 1980s, following rising attention in metropolitan centres and the supportive work of locally based art advisers in Indigenous communities,  some artists from the same region and broad kinship networks as those sampled by Charles Mountford’s collecting in 1948 had achieved artistic ‘careers’, been represented repeatedly in exhibitions, and had reached diverse audiences and collections in the wider world.Tags: Multiple Sclerosis Research Paper1000 Word Essay On Military AccountabilityBest Value For Money Toilet PaperTopic For Creative WritingCandide EssayUcla Creative Writing Mfa ProgramWrite Introduction Comparison Essay
For example, the Art Gallery of New South Wales moved dramatically to upscale its long-standing commitment to Indigenous art with the opening of the Yiribana Gallery in 1994.
Special display galleries were established in the main institutions, backed by a more active acquisitions program, dedicated staff curatorship, and attention to thematic, temporary exhibitions of new work evolving in diverse Indigenous communities and situations.
Such divisions are maintained only at considerable cost to Indigenous cultural aspirations to be ‘viewed whole’: as part of a continuing cultural history and comprehensive story of adaptive evolution across a huge land and islands over centuries.
Continued institutional segregation distorts the historical record of more than a half-century.
One of the most important of the dedicated permanent displays within an art museum was in fact a single work: (1987–88), owned by the National Gallery.
Organised by Djon Mundine for the 1988 (bicentennial) Biennale of Sydney, this work memorialising Aboriginal deaths over two centuries is an installation of 200 painted hollow log coffins () by 43 artists from around Ramingining in Arnhem Land.Historical imagination was challenged in its interpretative tasks.New connections needed to be made, stretching beyond museums and involving near and far-distant communities. The transformational changes of the later twentieth century could not have been imagined in the 1940s, when the small bark illustrated here  was collected on the American-American Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL expedition) in 1948 led by Charles Mountford. Four decades later, the situation was completely transformed.It highlights how the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, witnessed a series of changes that brought about new kinds of Indigenous engagement and presentation within Australia’s public galleries and museums.Such developments could not have been accomplished within previous institutional practices.These differences delineate one of the most complex domains in Australian museography of the last half-century, and one of the least elucidated in museology.The lack of debate about different museum approaches to Indigenous culture is reinforced by continuing divisions in institutional cultures, research and publications.The third collection was a negotiated gift in 1993 of an important older collection formed originally in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. These collections were acquired across a decade (1984–1993) in which Indigenous art became most concentrated area within the MCA-Power Bequest’s total international collection.