Fred Myers will be giving a lecture Wednesday, October 14 at 6pm titled “Trajectories of Value in Pintupi Painting: An Incomplete History of an Aboriginal Painting Movement.”

Dr. Myers is currently Silver Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at New York University, where he has taught since 1982 and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University. He received his B.A. from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D from Bryn Mawr College. From 1976-1982 he taught at Pitzer College, Claremont, California. In 1988 he received the W.E.H. Stanner Prize from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies for his publication, Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place, and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986) and in 2008, he was the recipient of the J. I. Staley Prize from the School of Advanced Research for Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art (Duke University Press, 2002).

Dr. Myers has published six books: Dangerous Words: Language and Politics in the Pacific, with Donald Brenneis (New York University Press, 1984); Further Inflections: Toward Ethnographies of the Future, with Susan Harding (Cultural Anthropology, 1994); The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Anthropology and Art, with George Marcus (University of California Press, 1995); Painting Culture; The Empire of Things: Regimes of Value and Material Culture (SAR Press, 2001); and Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self.

Professor Myers will be giving a talk entitled “Trajectories of Value in Pintupi Painting: an Incomplete History of an Aboriginal Painting Movement.” This lecture is intended to establish a broad background for understanding the significance of Papunya Tula paintings. He will discuss the local contexts in which Papunya Tula painters worked and the meanings and values that guided their painting in the early and mid-1970s, when he lived at the remote outstation community of Yayayi in the Northern Territory of Australia. He wants to make clear what sort of value the Pintupi painters in particular understood their paintings to have and what expectations they had for the circulation of their paintings into other contexts. In presenting this tableau, he will try to give voice to the individuality of the painters, the substance of their work, and the political, aesthetic, and cultural aspirations embodied in making their culture visible and exchangeable in two-dimensional, permanent objects.