Arthur Beau Palmer
Arthur Beau Palmer is a Gallery Owner and deals in high end investment Aboriginal & Oceanic tribal artefacts & fine art. He specialises in sourcing omissions in major established Private & Public collections and advice on future investment opportunities for those beginning in the field of Ethnographic Fine Art collecting.
The Palmer consultancy offers Valuations & Appraisal, Provenance, Research, Insurance, Bequests, Auction Purchase Advice, Sale and Sourcing in all areas of Material Culture & Ethnographic Fine Art.
He began collecting Aboriginal Material Culture in the 1950s & PNG field collecting in 1968.
The Palmer family has a history of direct association with Papua New Guinea Torres Strait which goes back five generations to the 1870s. Arthur's Great Grandfather Hon Sir Arthur H Palmer KCMG Premier 1870-73 & Govenor Queensland 1883-1896 annexed New Guinea & Formation of British New Guinea Armed Constabulary 1890 etc (see Sir William MacGregor /Sir A H Palmer correspondance 1880s).
Arthur's father Sqd/Ldr BMH Palmer DFC CO 5 Sqadron RAAF Bougainville Solomons & Fighter Command Horn Is. Torres Strait & Merauke Dutch New Guinea (WWII 1942-45).
Arthur re-catalouged the MacGregor collection Queensland Museum 1975-77, as assistant to the Curator of Anthropology & Archeaology, for repatriation post PNG Independance.
In the 1980s he directed a large scale environmental health programme with Cape York & Torres Strait Traditional Owner Communities. He is widely published & has one of the largest private Australian Family collections of Aboriginal, New Guinea & Pacific Art.
His personal Photographic Library of 35,000 traditional colour and B&W images (currently in the process of digitizing) is the product of systematically using a camera the way most Anthropologists use a note book.
Having spent 25 years of his professional life as an anthropologist and pilot in northern Australia based in Darwin Northern Territory Arthur moved his family back to Brisbane to open his Artifact Fine Art Gallery in 1999.
As a permanent staff member Anthropology/Archaeology section for Qld Museum & Uni of Qld Anthropology Museum he field collected traditional material culture in Kimberley WA, NT, Cape York & Torres Strait between 1975- 77.
He was appointed the Inaugural Head of Land Claims for the Northern Land Council 1977 -1982, and since 1982 an independent Australian consultant ethnographer engaged in full time field work projects (Interface Aboriginal Organisations, Traditional Owners, Government and Private sector development. Pastoral, Mining, Aviation, Health, Media, Film, Consultation, Negotiations, Court Submissions, Reports, Briefs, Expert Testimony, Case Preparation. Project Implementation, Feasibility, Monitor, Research, Advice. MABO, Native Title, Sacred Sites, Land Rights Act, Local Community Cultural centres & Museums).
1984-1990 he was Director of the North Australian Aboriginal environmental health canine programme & was consultant to Aboriginal Sacred Site Authority NT. More recently he was the senior Consultant and Chief Pilot for Year of the Outback 2002.
Approved to value the following classes for the Australian Government s Cultural Gifts Programme: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander material culture and contemporary art, Arnhem Land Aboriginal Bark Paintings (19thC to present), Aboriginal Hermannsburg watercolours (1930s to present), Pacific (Melanesian Papua New Guinea, Solomons & Islands, Polynesia & Micronesia), African, Asian, American Indian material culture, Australian Early and Modern Fine Art, International Aviation Art, Trench Art WWI & WWII
Appointed as an Expert Examiner under the Protection of Moveable Cultural Act 1986
Cultural Property Ministry for the Arts
Federal Department of Communications and the Arts
Part 1. Objects of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage.
Part 5. Objects of Fine or Decorative Art.
President Emeritus Royal Queensland Art Society (Hon)2004 - 2006
Lord Mayor's Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (Hon)
Past President BBC Old Collegians Assoc(Hon)
Uni of Qld Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (Hon)
Anthropology Museum University of Queensland Field Collector 1975-77
Queensland Museum - Ass to Curator Anthropology and Archaeology - Field Collector Cape York 1976-77
Re-photograph MacGregor Collection (PNG) 8,000 specimens Head of Land Claims NLC N.T. (1977-82)
Director North Australian Canine Aboriginal Health Programme (DAA 1984-90)
Commissioner for Oaths (N.T. 1977-99)
Senior Consultant/Chief Pilot. Year of the Outback 2002 Pty Ltd
ARU/QRU Rugby Level II Coach - ID 573202
ABC National News October 2016
A routine valuation audit at one of Perth's little-known museum collections has unearthed some artefacts that have not been seen for 75 years.
The Berndt Museum has one of the most culturally significant collections of Aboriginal art and objects in the world.
It holds more than 12,000 artefacts and 30,000 photographs and archival material, bequeathed to the University of Western Australia by anthropologists Catherine and Ronald Berndt in the 1970s.
Tribal art valuer Arthur Palmer was called in to value the collection for the first time.
"It's a national treasure, it has a breadth and a depth and a quality which is unparalleled anywhere in the world," Mr Palmer said of the museum's collection.
But as they unpacked the items this week, curators at the museum stumbled across a new veritable treasure trove of artefacts.
The museum's associate director Dr Vanessa Russ said the items were stashed in an old metal flour bin.
"I actually don't think they've been seen since Ronald and Catherine put them in the flour bin and that might have been up in Arnhem Land," she said.
"I actually think it's been there since the 1940s."
PHOTO: Carved and painted wooden heads were also found in the flour bin. (ABC News: Pamela Medlen)
The carved heads were wrapped in old pieces of newspaper and woven baskets were stuffed inside each other.
"We were just hopping from one leg to another, there was just layer after layer of the most astounding material all in very good condition," Mr Palmer said.
"Most of them really beautiful objects, the aesthetics and just really sophisticated technologies and the paint, just an amazingly exciting experience."
Mr Palmer said the objects were of such high quality they would make a stir in international markets if it were to be auctioned internationally.
But to the museum the objects are irreplaceable, and therefore priceless.
PHOTO: Woven baskets were among the unexpected haul of artefacts. (ABC News: Pamela Medlen)
"Some of the paintings that we haven't seen for a while are really significant, but they haven't been unrolled for maybe 10 years.
But they will not be placed on display anywhere until a permanent exhibition space is built, for which the university does not have a timeframe.
The curators have been painstakingly cataloguing the items.
"The community value on this is incredible," Dr Russ said.
"Over time we should be able to share all these objects back with those communities, so that they can learn and remember, it's just such an incredible wealth for Australia."
For now the artefacts will be carefully packaged and placed back into storage.
Christies Captain Cook Boomerang (September 2008)
Westside News Queensland 2007