The Oceanic Art Society is very pleased to announce the election of a new President, Dr. Bill Rathmell. Bill, and his wife, Noelle, have had a long association with the OAS, summarised in a brief introduction inside this edition of the OAS Journal. We also welcome on board Dr. Krisztina Turza as Editorial Assistant. These two newish faces join many of the old hands on the OAS Committee which has been deeply engaged in bedding down the new OAS website (see www.oceanicartsociety.org.au). We can finally say this site is up and running and we hope will continue to improve as more information and images, articles and links are added, establishing it as an invaluable resource for those interested in learning more about Oceanic art.
This edition of the Journal is heavily weighted in covering the many events, exhibitions and lectures that have taken place in Australia covering Oceanic art in the last few months, with some still under way. This is to be applauded as for too long the huge collections of Australia’s many cultural institutions have rarely seen the light of day. Queensland has been the heart of this activity with two significant exhibitions, Solomon Islands: Re-enchantment and the Colonial Shadow at the University of Queensland‘s Anthropology Museum, and No.1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016, at the Queensland Art Gallery. These shows have been thoughtfully reviewed by, respectively, Dr. Krisztina Turza, Dr. Diana Young and QAG Curator (Pacific), Ruth McDougall. We also learn from Dr. Mike Gunn about the recent Oceanic Knowledges Conference in Canberra, and a review on the wonderful lecture given by Crispin Howarth on the Reverend Fellows Collection at the final 2016 OAS lecture and AGM held in Sydney on November 12.
The next edition of the Journal will include the final part of Barry Craig’s series on the early collectors for the South Australian Museum and we then intend to continue this theme with articles on other early Pacific travelers and adventurers and the collections that they amassed.
The next OAS lecture is to be given by Dr. Peter McCabe at the Australian Museum on March 15 on the origins and meanings of the idiosyncratic beaded aprons of the Geelvink Bay region of West Papua. We are looking forward to what promises to be a fascinating evening and encourage members to attend.