The Tasmanian Government is pleased to announce we are in the process of acquiring two significant artworks for the state through Libraries Tasmania.
The portraits are being purchased by Libraries Tasmania with funds from the Allport Bequests Fund. This fund was established in 1965 solely for the acquisition of items for the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts collection.
In Melbourne on Wednesday a group of original sketches and watercolours were auctioned from, ‘Highly Important Works of Art, The Baudin Expedition to Australia (1800-1804)’.
Lot 5 from the auction featured two portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal men drawn in 1802 from when Baudin’s expedition was in the vicinity of Bruny Island, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Maria Island.
The artist is Nicholas-Martin Petit (1777-1804) whose drawings have been heralded as some of the most sensitive and important depictions of Tasmanian Aboriginal people from this time.
These extremely rare portraits were recently unearthed from a private French collection.
The portraits are of immense cultural significance and Libraries Tasmania is thrilled to be able to bring the portraits back to Tasmania, where they can be safely housed, digitised and accessed by the public.
The Chair of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Mr Tim Bugg, the management committee and the Allport Curator, Caitlin Sutton, are to be commended for acquiring these significant works.
The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is a living collection of nationally significant Tasmanian colonial paintings, photographs, rare books, manuscripts, English and European decorative arts and furniture.
The collection contains over 6,000 colonial paintings and prints. It is one of the most important collections of Tasmania’s visual history in the state.
For more information visit www.libraries.tas.gov.au/allport/Pages/Allport.aspx
Contact: Pip Hankin or Fiona Bradley, Communications and Marketing 6165 5552 or firstname.lastname@example.org