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Albert Namatjira Closeup
Albert Namatjira Closeup

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Graeme Saunders

The headstone over the grave commemorates indigenous artist Albert Namatjira (1902 - 1959) and recognises his influence on Aboriginal artists in Central Australia and elsewhere. In 1994 members of the Hermannsburg Potters, led by his grand-daughter Elaine, acknowledged Namatjira's legacy by producing a terracotta mural for the headstone of his grave. The work is a landscape combining three sites in the Macdonnell Ranges which were the subjects of his paintings.

Namatjira was the first indigenous artist to paint and exhibit professionally in Western style. He painted his country and was both prodigious and successful, producing approximately two thousand pictures and founding a school of painting that continues today. Namatjira’s first solo exhibition of 41 works was held in Melbourne in 1938. All works sold quickly. Over the next ten years exhibitions were held in various capital cities of Australia and Namatjira became a celebrity.

He was awarded the Queen’s Coronation medal in 1953; was flown to Canberra to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954; his portrait, by William Dargie, won the Archibald prize in 1956; and in 1957 he was granted citizenship (a status denied to most Aboriginal people at the time).


Address:Memorial Avenue, Alice Spring General (Memorial) Cemetery, Alice Springs, 0870
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.703611
Long: 133.864722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Hermannsburg Potters (Mural)


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1994
Front Inscription

Altjiraka Nguangiberrantama Jinga Nama Nana Jinga Namanga  
                         Artist                          I. Cor. 15, 10a

Albert Namatjira

Born at Hermannsburg July 8th, 1902
Died at Alice Springs August 8th, 1959

Inscription in Proximity

"Albert Namatjira was a man of the Western Arrernte people.  He was born in Hermannsburg in 1902 and died in Alice Springs in 1959.

He began painting in water colours at the age of 33 and became famous during his own lifetime for his beautiful painting of the country to the west of Alice Springs.  Other aboriginal people from the Hermannsburg area followed, founding the Hermannsburg School of Water Colourists.

Albert's work is internationally known and has become extremely valuable.  Not only is he the most famous aboriginal artist Australia has known, but he was a wonderful Central Australian man who expressed a rare artistic genius in a social context of poverty, discrimination and difficulty. "

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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