Portrait Project

From 2018 I will lead a major four-year collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, generously funded by the Australian Research Council. The funding was awarded through the ARC’s Linkage Projects Scheme.

AIMS: In 2019-2020, Australia’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) will host a major joint exhibition with the US-based Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. It will focus on the portrait traditions that evolved in Australia and the US before 1850 and explore how they reveal common or distinct histories about people in both places during a crucial period of indigenous dispossession and settler establishment. The aim of our project is to provide a critical research arm to this exhibition, expanding significantly its ability to advance public and scholarly understanding of both historical indigenous experience and settler cultural formation in comparable sites. It intends to bring together leading scholars and art curators in a collaboration that will both deepen the curatorial possibilities and broaden the reach of scholarly endeavour in the emerging field of “New World” comparison. Doing so will also consolidate the research bases of one of Australia’s most dynamic museums.

PRODUCTIONS: Over four years, 2018-2021, the project will:

  1. mount an initial mini-exhibition called Founding Pairs, based on similar themes as the major exhibition but focused solely on the Austral-Pacific region, with accompanying publications.
  2. publish a scholarly catalogue to accompany the major exhibition in 2019-2020
  3. convene an international symposium to accompany the major exhibition (with additional dedicated Early Career Researcher day).
  4. publish an edited collection of the best scholarship from the symposium
  5. deliver a series of occasional public talks during both exhibitions
  6. produce an educative e-resource for school-children to accompany the major exhibition.
  7. graduate a doctoral student from Macquarie University, supervised by Kate Fullagar.

Watch this space for more news on this project, including advertisement of the postgraduate scholarship for 2018-2021!