Forger-Convict-Artist: The Criminalisation of Forgery and Colonial Australian Art, 1788-1868

Project: Research

Project Description

This is a postdoctoral research fellowship. Forger—Convict—Artist is the first book-length study of the significant contribution that convicted forgers made to the visual iconography of early colonial Australia (1788–1868). It maps a range of artworks by convicted forgers—from watercolours to love tokens—onto an analysis of the criminalisation of forgery in the British empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the related development of an expanding capitalist credit system and intellectual property law. Utilising an interdisciplinary methodology grounded in art history and combined with legal, literary, colonial, and convict studies, it rewrites the origins of Australian art history—a narrative that has, since colonisation, self-consciously orbited around the binaries of original/copy, centre/periphery.
Short titleForger
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/11/1931/08/20