Dr George Ward Tjapaltjarri

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DOB: c. 1930s - 2017
Born: Near Jupiter Well, WA

Dr George Ward Tjapaltjarri was referred to as 'The Doctor' for many years because of his skills in traditional healing and his extensive knowledge of bush medicines. He was often employed by Central Australian Aboriginal medical units to carry out traditional medicine.

Dr George spoke very little English and had no particular desire to learn. His interests lay more in imparting his extensive knowledge of the environment, nature, bush crafts and traditional healing to his community and interested parties.

The Doctor had no contact with white Australia until 1963 when, as part of a small group of Pintupi people, he was located near Jupiter Well, approximately 900km west of Alice Springs. Many at the time considered this group to consist of perhaps the world's last truly stone age people. Doctor George was well into his thirties when he was found and had been living a lifestyle which dated back thousands of years. This background permeates Doctor George's art and as such his work is considered culturally significant.

Dr George Ward was amongst the first Central Australian artists to start painting traditional designs on canvas. His heritage and personal history of walking desert floors as his ancestors had done before him for thousands of years has contributed to his works being considered extremely collectable.

Doctor George's membership as one in a small, elite group of artists triggering the Central Australian Art Movement in the late 1960's is recognised internationally.


  • Artbank, Sydney
  • Kaplan Levi Collection, Seattle, USA
  • Mem Ziz Collection, Melbourne
  • Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
  • Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Vroom Collection, The Netherlands
  • Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland


Selected Group Exhibitions

2007 Redrock Gallery, International Art Expo, Beijing, PR China
2007 Redrock Gallery, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing, PR China
2007 Redrock Gallery, China World Exhibtion Centre, Beijing, PR China
2007 Redrock Gallery, Gallery Grand Opening Beijing, PR China
2003-2006 Redrock Gallery, Melbourne
2002 Mine, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
2001 alice.fitzroy@af, Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, Canberra
2001 Country After Rain, Framed - The Darwin Gallery, Darwin
2000 From Utopia to Kintore, Group Exhibition, Melbourne
2000 Lines, Fire Works Gallery, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
2000 Recent Paintings by Walala Tjapaltjarri and Dr George Tjapaltjarri, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
2000 Landmarks, Brisbane Powerhouse, Dar Festival, Queensland
1999 Tingari Cycle, Fire-Works Gallery, Brisbane
1999 Painting the Desert, Alliance Francaise de Canberra & French Embassy, Canberra
1998 Dr George Tjapaltjarri, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
1998 Queensland Museum, Brisbane
1998 Tingari - My Dreaming, Japingka Gallery, Perth
1998 Tingari Cycle - Paintings of the Pintupi, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
1998 Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri and Dr George Tjapaltjarri, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
1993 Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1992 Dreamtime Gallery, Broadbeach, QLD
1990 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1989 Mythscapes, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1988 Queensland Museum, Brisbane