Art: Bushman to Brushman

Until 1936, Albert Namatjira, a husky black member of the Arunta tribe in the remote bush country of central Australia, was a camel driver. He also did odd jobs for the Lutheran mission at tiny (pop. 242) Hermannsburg, 1,300 miles northwest of Sydney. The missionaries paid him in clothes and rations of European food, with which Albert supplemented the native "bush tucker" of kangaroo meat, honey ants and fat grubs.

Today, 51-year-old Albert Namatjira is one of Australia's most popular and successful artists. His bright, pleasant watercolors of the rugged scenery around Hermannsburg sell in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaïde and Brisbane for as...

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