Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Painted ceramic tumbler made by Martin Boyd Pottery


Painted ceramic tumbler made by Martin Boyd Pottery

Object information

Physical description

Pale yellow glazed ceramic tumbler with a crouching Aboriginal man painted in black and brown on the exterior. The base shows the text "Martin / Boyd" etched into the surface and "DARWIN" handpainted in black paint. The interior of the vase is pale blue.

Statement of significance

The Martin Boyd Pottery Tumbler collection inlcudes a Martin Boyd Pottery 'Darwin' series yellow and green glazed tumbler with a design featuring a crouching male Aboriginal warrior.

The Martin Boyd tumbler is an excellent example of the wave of Aboriginal art inspired decorative ceramics that swept the domestic Australian manufacturing market in the decades post-WWII. The object is a significant piece of 'Australiana' in the field of ceramics dating from the early 1950s, a time when artists from predominantly European backgrounds were searching for ways to introduce a unique sense of 'Australianness' into everyday art and design. Inspiration was found by embracing, and in many ways distorting, Aboriginal culture and art to suit the local domestic and export markets.

Object information

Back to top