Crawford House Publishing
The Art of New Guinea Volumes I & II

The Art of New Guinea is the first monograph about this subject that covers all substantial forms of expression. The book is predicated on the idea that the art history of New Guinea is an inalienable component of its cultural history, which has manifested itself in widely differing specific regional forms, and on the idea that in ‘historical regions’ could be realised an identical territorial division for its art forms covering the whole New Guinea.

Its ten non-Austronesian and six Austronesian units are presented in an interlocking sequence. This is a suitable method for acquiring an insight into the historical development of artistic activities, as well as a better evaluation of the historic significance of certain art forms. For that reason The Art of New Guinea is substantially different to former books about this subject, in which the divergences of New Guinean art are mainly transferred to the formal plane, and the territorial classification of the various art forms is generally established according to arbitrary or purely geographical aspects, whereby the sequence in which they are presented reflects often outdated scenarios of settlement history.

Centres of gravity in the book are, for example, the ‘Bergländer’ (mountainous regions contrary to Highlands) four different regions between Mamberamo and Biri, north and south of the great Sepik arc, inside Huon Peninsula, and around the Great Papuan Plateau, which were presented here for the first time in an historical sequence. The book also contains the first presentation to treat exhaustively the differentiation of the regional art forms of the ‘North Coast’ and their relationships to the diverse art traditions of the Sepik area.

The illustration of about 1400 pieces of art, the registers of place names and ethnolinguistic groups and thirty-three folded maps that cover every mentioned placename, qualify the book as a major reference work within its field.


Frank Tiesler






548 illustrations in the text, 654 photographs in plates (130 in full colour)


Portrait; hardcover; 980 pages (vol. I: 622 pages; vol. II: 358 pages)


295 x 285 mm



© Copyright 2022 Crawford House Publishing Australia