Tommy McRae (1836-1901) Australia (Aboriginal)

Biographical Information

Tommy McRae, with William Barrak is one of the instantly recognisable nineteeth century indigenous artists. He was born in the Upper Murray region and as a youth worked on Brocklesby Station of later Tom Roberts fame. Around the mid 1860s, after sometime down at Echuca where he made drawings under the name of Barnes, McRae settled near Corowa, at Wahgunyah on the Victorian side of the Murray. He died at the nearby Lake Moodemere Aboriginal Settlement in 1901. It was vigneron Roderick Kilborn who apparently supplied McRae with materials and encouraged him to make sketch books for sale. All his drawings were in ink. Some were on loose sheets. Tommy McRae's style is unique and revolves 'around the delicate use of the silhouette, suggestion of space and brevity, but faithfulness in the observation of local flora and fauna'. (Ref: A. Sayers, Aboriginal Artists of the 19th Century, OUP, Melbourne, 1994). Various themes engaged the artist but the most common were the hunt and the battle scene. Edit or add to this biography

Market Information

Sketchbook, 1881
Highest Price:
Sketchbook, 1881
Sketchbook with 14 images, pen and black ink on paper, the first two with traces of blue ink, 21.5 x 28.5 cm each
Important Aboriginal & Oceanic Art, Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne.
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 Total number soldNumber with imagesHighest priceRecent average price*
Works on Paper2424A$228,000 N/A
Objects11A$8,338 N/A

* Calculated on sales over the last three years, where there are a sufficient number of sales over that period.

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