South Australian Museum Staff
- Senior Researcher
- Foreign Ethnology
Barry Craig gained his BA honours in Anthropology (1960) and a Diploma of Education (1961) at the University of Sydney. He taught school at Telefomin in Papua New Guinea 1962-5; then three months on the Australian Star Mountains Expedition, collecting plant and herpetological specimens and recording anthropological data. In 1964 he made a collection of 450 ethnographic objects from the Telefomin region for the Australian Museum in Sydney.
In 1967, 1968 and 1969, he returned to central New Guinea and the upper Sepik to collect ethnographic information and objects for museums in Port Moresby, Sydney, Berlin and Leiden. In 1969 he completed an honours Masters thesis at the University of Sydney: Houseboards and Warshields of the Mountain-Ok of Central New Guinea.
During 1969-71, he attended post-graduate courses in art history and tribal arts at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, at Columbia University and at Yale. During 1972-3, he spent a year in central New Guinea and the upper Sepik making a collection of ethnographic art objects on behalf of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board in Canberra. Following that he returned to the United States and taught courses in African, Pacific and Pre-columbian American art at the University of Southern California.
During 1980-1983, he was Curator of Anthropology at the PNG National Museum & Art Gallery, spending 25% of his time in the field, working in central New Guinea, the middle and lower Sepik, New Ireland and New Britain. His major responsibilities were the monitoring and recording of in situ objects classified as National Cultural Property, and the restructuring and expansion of the museum's Masterpieces Exhibition (see Craig 2006). He then wrote a thesis on the collection, documentation and preservation of the material cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea and was awarded a PhD in Visual Arts at Flinders University in 1997.
Since 1996, when he was appointed Curator of Foreign Ethnology at the South Australian Museum, he has carried out research on the Foreign Ethnology collections, particularly from the Pacific but also Africa. The former is intended to result in a published catalogue of the 3000 exhibits in the Pacific Gallery.
Major Publications: (Top 5)
1988 Art and Decoration of Central New Guinea. Shire Ethnography Nr 5. Aylesbury: Shire Publications.
1995 Arrow Designs in Northern and Central New Guinea and the Lapita Connection. pp.237-259 in D. Smidt, P. ter Keurs & A. Trouwborst (eds) Pacific Material Culture. Essays in honour of Dr Simon Kooijman. Leiden: Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde.
2002 'A stranger in a strange land': Kenneth Thomas in the North Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. pp.191-207 in A. Herle, N. Stanley, K. Stevenson & R. Welsch (eds) Pacific Art. Persistence, Change and Meaning. Adelaide: Crawford House Publishing.
2005 H. Beran & B. Craig (eds) Shields of Melanesia. Adelaide: Crawford House Publishing Australia
2006 B. Craig (ed, and principal author) Living Spirits with Fixed Abodes. The Masterpieces Exhibition of the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery. Adelaide: Crawford House Publishing Australia.