Bird, Nancy, Charpa (Witchety Grub) (Mulga Bore) (Detail), 1990

Goodnow family donate artworks honouring their mother

19 April 2016

Mosman Art Gallery has become the recipient of a generous donation of artworks from Kate and Christopher Goodnow, in memory of their late mother Professor Jacqueline Goodnow AC.

“Jacqueline was a noted collector of Aboriginal art” says gallery director, John Cheeseman, “and these stunning works by Central Australian artists are an exciting addition to the Mosman Art Collection. Jacqueline was part of our Mosman community for many years and this important donation of works will enable her memory to live on.”

Professor Jacqueline Goodnow AC made distinguished contributions to the field of developmental psychology, illuminating how people think and solve problems at different ages and in different cultural contexts, working in Australia and overseas. Professor Goodnow was an exceptional interdisciplinary scholar and an astute observer of people and situations.

This significant donation of artworks by the Goodnow family includes paintings by Lindsay Bird, Freddy West Tjakamarra, Michael Nelson Tjakamarra, and Nancy Petyarre which depict desert life, sacred ceremonial sites, and dreamtime stories.

“Mum had a PhD from Harvard, and was interested in American art,” says Jacqueline’s daughter Kate Goodnow. “We moved back to Australia in the early 1970’s, and Mum was struck by the fact that displays of Aboriginal art only consisted of bark paintings, and acrylic paintings were not deemed worthy of collecting.

“She began collecting Aboriginal artworks in the early ’70’s, and amassed a large amount. Artworks were also donated to the AGNSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Mum only stopped collecting when she ran out of wall space!”

“When we came back from the US, Mum always had a great connection to Mosman. She enjoyed the Mosman Art Gallery, and wanted the Aboriginal artworks to be enjoyed by the community.”

The donated works are currently on display at Mosman Art Gallery as part of Unpacked – a series of rolling exhibitions exploring the Mosman Art Collection.

“Mosman Art Gallery has always depended on the support and generosity of the Mosman community. Gifts, like that from the Goodnow family, enrich our whole community and allow us to give back to all who visit,” Gallery Director John Cheeseman said.

To discuss how you could support the work of Mosman Art Gallery please contact the Gallery’s Philanthropy Officer Jane Hurley: or 9978 4164.

Kate Goodnow will be at Mosman Art Gallery to view the donated works at 11.30am on Thursday 21 April and will be available for interview or photographs at this time.