Artworks by William Barak return to Australia after record bids at auction


Bidding for Barak’s guard was fierce, with Wurunjderi Corporation competing with an online bidder who quickly drove the work to more than double its low estimate until the hammer dropped to $42,000, bringing the final price to $52,920. dollars with buyer fees brought.

Barak expert and art historian Dr. Nikita Vanderbyl, who followed the auction online, narrated The Australian Financial Report She was relieved at the result.

The artwork Corroboree (Women in Opossum Skin Cloaks) and its creator William Barak.

“It represents a turning point for the people of Wurunjderi in recognition and also working together where we have seen a really impressive result through crowdfunding and the State Government, the City of Melbourne and Melbourne Airport have all contributed,” said Dr. Vanderbyl.

“It is so encouraging that people have stepped up, especially at the start of National Reconciliation Week. The key point is that people listened to what the community wanted and they wanted to own those works directly.”

Barak gave the works to Jules de Pury, a member of the Swiss de Pury family of winemakers who had settled in the Yarra Valley and with whom Barak was friends.

Jules de Pury took the works with him when he returned to Switzerland in 1897 or 1898. But as Uncle Ron Jones made clear this week, no one should benefit from a gift.

“I’m pretty sure William Barak, if he were here today, would be totally unhappy that people are making money off this,” he told ABC.

At the New York auction, the crowd erupted in applause after the sale of Barak’s drawing.

That Financial review believes prominent Melbourne art dealer D’Lan Davidson to have bid on space in New York on behalf of Wurunjderi Corporation.

High-profile artists such as Emily Floyd and Callum Morton were among the more than 1,000 donors who contributed to the crowdfunding, as was Sandra de Pury, a member of the Australian branch of the de Pury family, who donated her Barak archives to the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum before a decade.

In a written statement, Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams said Barak’s artwork would be returned to where it rightfully belonged.


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