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Immigration & Artistic Practice Collection

Countermarch floor loom (c. 1947) and unplying machine (1950)

Image: Countermarch floor loom (c. 1947) and unplying machine (1950)

Source: Museum Victoria

The Immigration and Artistic Practice Collection contains over 140 artworks as well as related tools and materials used by the artists. It also contains 27 oral histories along with photographs and other support material relating to the artistic practice of over 30 immigrant artists living in Victoria. The artworks in the collection include sculpture, weaving, paintings, ceramics, wood carving and handcrafts by artists from Italy, Japan, Poland, Germany, Austria, China, South Africa, Chile, Hungary, Netherlands, Latvia, Laos (Hmong), Turkey (Kurdish) and Vietnam.

The collection was established in 1992 when Museum Victoria and Monash University received a project grant from the Australia Council to undertake a project to assess the effects that migration and exposure to new cultures had on traditional and non-traditional craft practices. Entitled Contemporary Craft and Cultural Identity, the project research was undertaken by Deborah Tout-Smith, supervised by Anna Malgorzewicz and Margaret Anderson. It identified and documented the work of several key artists and craftspeople including Anna and Anita Apinis, Martha Ash, Heja Chong, Leopoldine Mimovich, Naomi Ota, Josef Moser, Eva Schubert, Amelia Sello and the African Women's Group, and Maria Simari.

Museum Victoria has contined to develop the collection, re-named the Immigration and Artistic Practice Collection, with the documentation of further artists, types of art practice and countries represented, and further exploration of contemporary cultural identity and immigration experiences in Victoria through the development of culturally-specific forms of artistic practice.

The collection report was published by Museum Victoria: 'Contemporary Craft and Cultural identity project report'  by Deborah Tout-Smith, with the assistance of Anna Malgorzewicz and Margaret Anderson. Melbourne: Museum of Victoria; Monash University. Dept of History, 1994.

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