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New Guinea and the lslands

Date: 1968
Dimensions:
Overall: 214 x 217 x 15 mm, 0.45 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Manuscript
Object No: 00027096
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This unpublished manuscript 'New Guinea and the Islands' by amateur artist and professional seaman Brett Hilder from 1968 contains reproductions of Hilder's watercolours from New Guinea and the Melanesian Islands.

    SignificanceThis manuscript is representative of the work by prolific amateur painter Brett Hilder, a seaman with Burns Philp and Company. His work offers a valuable and comprehensive record of the experiences of mariners working on commercial vessels between Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Melanesia from the 1930s through to the 1960s.
    HistoryBrett Hilder born in 1911 was the youngest son of renowned watercolourist Jesse Jewhurst Hilder. In 1927 he became a crewmember for ships owned by Burns Philp & Co. He traveled extensively to the Dutch East Indies and South Pacific Islands, and eventually became a ship's master. During WWII he taught navigation to Australian air crew and attained the rank of Wing Commander. He flew on Catalina flying boats for the Royal Australian Air Force. After the war Hilder resumed his career as a merchant sea-captain.

    During the war Hilder started painting watercolours depicting landscapes, details and portraits of the people and places he visited. He also wrote extensively about navigation and his travels for magazines such as 'Walkabout'. Hilder is the author of numerous books on his own experiences and in 1966 published 'The Heritage of JJ Hilder' a book about his father's art career. This accompanied a national touring exhibition of his father's work organised by the Queensland Art Gallery. Brett Hilder passed away in April 1981.

    This unpublished manuscript entitled 'New Guinea and the Islands', was written by Hilder in 1968. The work captures the European influence on the Pacific communities. The manuscript featured the name of each painting and information regarding the history and significance of each site.

    This work serves as an important account of places visited by Brett Hilder during his career as a seaman. Hilder comments on the collection of watercolours in the books inscription, describing how they show the cool blues and greens of the tropical scenes but fail to give an adequate impression of heat and the humidity present on the islands. He describes the paintings as the vision of beauty remaining permanently in the memory of those who travel to the islands.
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