The OAS Forum, held at the Melbourne Savage Club on October 21st, was a fantastic success and the Victorian members of the OAS, especially Dr. Michael Martin, are to be most heartily congratulated. The venue was superb; the speakers all truly world class and the food and company unsurpassable. Indeed it is fair to say that the OAS has been reinvigorated by the event, which sets a high bar for future forums, specifically the November 2018 OAS Forum planned for Sydney.
The event was opened by Dr. Martin with a brief history of the Savage Club and the man from whom the name was derived, Richard Savage, an eighteenth century English poet and bohemian reveller who was the subject of a biography by literary giant, Samuel Johnston. The club, established in 1894, brings together literary men and those connected with the arts, sport and politics in a classic setting of restrained grandeur. Of particular interest to OAS members is the spectacular collection of Pacific and Aboriginal artefacts that seem to comprise the Club’s artistic soul, and certainly set the internal scene, displayed as they are throughout the building. For connoisseurs of Oceanic art this makes the Savage Club something of a shrine, and we must therefore thank the Club, and its members, for allowing us the privilege of holding such an important forum in its hallowed rooms.
The speakers were, without exception, exceptional. We hope to publish full versions of their papers in future editions of the OAS Journal but in this edition provide a brief report on each presentation for the erudition of those members who were not fortunate enough to have been able to attend the Savage Club OAS Forum.
In this edition we also have a report by Noelle Rathmel-Stiels of Parcours 2017 in Paris, which once again captured the attention of the Oceanic art world. Now firmly established as the premier event of its type it can be seen as a bellwether for the tribal art market as a whole, all indications being that the market is thriving. We also learn from Crispin Howarth of the National Gallery of Australia’s recent acquisition of the ancient Mugus figure, adding yet another masterpiece to the national estate.
Members are reminded that this year’s AGM and end of year function will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at the Australian Museum. The AGM will commence at 10:00am followed by a lecture by Dr. Michael Mel, Manager West Pacific Collection Programs, Australian Museum, on Navigating for a Ples Namel: Between the Museum, Collections and Communities, from 11:00am to 12 noon. A casual lunch at the Museum’s top floor cafeteria will follow. Please see further information on the AGM and proxy forms inside.
Finally we reluctantly bid farewell (at least as OAS Secretary) to Robin Hodgson. After six years excellent service Robin is to retire from her post at this year’s AGM. The Society (and especially the Editor) thank her deeply for her incredible diligence and hard work that has kept the OAS functioning so well for so long. Please note the advertisement calling out for a new person to fill this vital role.