The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

While our Art History department here at Mary Wash is excellent, it is unfortunately still quite western-centric regarding the material which is taught.  While this is beginning to change, there is also thankfully another outlet nearby which enables us to broaden our awareness of the non-western art world.  Just down the road in Charlottesville, Va is “one of the finest private collections of Australian Aboriginal art in the world.”  This collection, located at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art museum, is the result of the coming together of two collections, that of John W. Kluge and the late Edward L. Ruhe.  Kluge began his collection after seeing a collection of Aboriginal art at a show in New York while Ruhe started collecting in Australia where he was studying as a Fulbright Scholar.  After Ruhe’s death Kluge purchased his collection and added it to his own thus creating the Kluge-Ruhe museum.  The Kluge-Ruhe is now a part of the University of Virginia and features a number of exhibits, speakers, and educational programs for children.  Overall for those of us who aren’t able to jet off to Australia to get their Aboriginal art fix, the Kluge-Ruhe museum is an excellent resource which we should be taken advantage of.

Philip Gudthaykudthay "Wagilag Sisters"


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