Art museum founding curator remembered

Flinders University expresses its condolences upon the passing of Dr Amzad Hossain Mian, founding curator of the Flinders University Art Museum (FUAM) in a two-decade tenure from 1974 through to 1994 and remembered by colleagues as a hardworking and humble man.

Dr Mian oversaw the museum’s construction from 1974 to 1975, which was initially called The Print Gallery, and was responsible for the documentation, management and care of the University’s expanding collection of art.

Renamed the Art Museum in 1975, he presented its inaugural exhibition on graphic European art including etchings, drawings and lithographs dated from 1470 to the 1970s, including works by well-known masters such as Picasso, Goya, and Daumier.

During his extensive tenure, Dr Mian oversaw numerous exhibitions and an increasingly diverse expansion of FUAM’s collection as it gradually grew to become one of the largest university art collections in Australia, now containing some 8,000 works.

The growth of the collection over the 1980s and 90s reflected the broadening of teaching at Flinders, notably with the University the first in Australia to include topics on Aboriginal art.

FUAM’s impressive collections now include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Australian political prints and posters, European prints, indigenous works from Papua New Guinea, North America and Africa and Japanese woodblock prints.

A loyal and outstanding worker, Dr Mian was also a cherished member of Flinders’ Muslim community and a strong advocate for the University’s Muslim students – including helping the Muslin Student Association establish the first prayer room at the University, through negotiating with management on their behalf and assisting with fundraising.

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