Australian Collection
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“Namangwari, Salt Water Crocodile” Artist: John Mowundjul 1988, Painting on eucalyptus bark with earth pigments 77 inches x 36 inches (196 c

Aboriginal Australian culture is represented in the Division of Anthropology by over 400 objects dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. Begun with 62 artifacts, predominantly from Queensland, the collection grew with a donation from the Australian government and was greatly enlarged by donation of the Flynn Collection of over 300 artifacts. Several smaller collections also enhance the Museum’s holdings.


The Flynn Collection of Aboriginal Art

The paintings displayed in the Museum’s exhibition Down Under Dreaming represent a small portion of the Flynn Collection of Aboriginal Art, a major collection assembled by Mrs. Kate Morey Flynn and her husband Dr. Michael Flynn between 1982 and 1988. In 1995 and 1996 the Flynns donated their collection to the Yale Peabody Museum. In addition to paintings, the Flynn Collection contains carvings, didgeridoos (large trumpets made from tree limbs naturally hollowed by termites), boomerangs, shields, spears and baskets, and a wide assortment of 19th and 20th century Australian Aboriginal artifacts from the Western Deserts and Arnhem Land.

The Yale Peabody Museum’s collections are available to legitimate researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the Collections Manager.

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Study of the collections is restricted to students and scholars working on formal research projects who have obtained authorization from a divisional curator. This is necessitated by the limited available study space and the requirement that staff supervise visitors at all times. Scholars are strongly encouraged to view the collections at the Museum. Ongoing inventory of objects may restrict access to some collections.