Dr Philip Jones

Senior Curator Anthropology

+61 8 8207 7325


Position at Other Organisation

  • Affiliate Lecturer, Department of History, University of Adelaide


Research Interests     

Aboriginal material culture; frontier encounters; Aboriginal and European colonial art; history of anthropology and collecting; ethnographic photography.


Current Research Projects

Reconstructing the Spencer and Gillen Collection.  P. Jones, P. Batty (Museum Victoria) and H. Morphy (Australian National University).  ARC funded project (~ $500,000).

Red Ochre Provenancing Project.  P. Jones, A. Pring (South Australian Museum), R. Popelka-Filcoff and C. Lenehan (Flinders University).  ARC funded project (~$300,000).

Tindale Shoebox Project(Indigenous Culture Branch, Office for the Arts). Grant of $58,000 to construct a website and database of N.B. Tindale’s cultural terms in Aboriginal languages.

Life and oeuvre of George French Angas, trans-colonial artist and naturalist. Commissioned book for National Library of Australia; Australia Council Literature Grant ($40,000).

Early murals and artwork of Warlpiri people at Yuendumu.  Newmont Australia sponsorship. Two books projected, for 2013, 2014.

Aboriginal sites in the Birdsville and Simpson Desert region. Long standing research project with L. Hercus (Australian National University).


Awards & Achievements

  • Churchill Fellow (2001)

  • Harold White Fellow, National Library of Australia (2009)

  • Fellow of Australian Academy of Humanities (2010–)

  • National Museum of Australia Research Fellowship (2011)


Professional Associations           

  • Member, Australian Academy of Humanities

  • Member, Professional Historians Association, South Australia



  • PhD, University of Adelaide

  • Bachelor of Law (LL.B), University of Adelaide


Current Teaching Responsibilities          

 University of Adelaide:

  • Art History Course, Department of Politics and History


Community Engagement 

 Lectures to the John McDouall Stuart Society and Waterhouse Club.


Media Expertise

Australian Aboriginal material culture;Aboriginal and European colonial art; history of anthropology and collecting; ethnographic photography.



  1. Jones, P. G. (2011). ‘The art of contact: encountering an Aboriginal aesthetic from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries’ in Anderson, J. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Australian Art, pp. 55–70. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Jones, P. G. (2011). ‘A Scene in South Australia’, by Alexander Schramm and ‘Winter encampments’, by Eugene von Guérard in Bunbury, A. (ed.) This Wondrous Land, pp. 98–99. Melbourne: Colonial Art on Paper, National Gallery of Victoria.

  3. Jones, P. G. (2011). ‘Inside Mountford’s tent: paint, politics and paperwork’ in Thomas, M. and Neale, M. (eds) Exploring the legacy of the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition, pp. 33-54. Canberra: ANU E-Press.

  4. Jones, P. G. (2011). Images of the Interior. Seven Central Australian PhotographersAdelaide: Wakefield Press.

  5. Jones, P. G. (2011). ‘Colonial Wissenschaft: German naturalists and museums in nineteenth-century South Australia’ in Monteath, P. (ed.) Germans. Travellers, settlers and their descendants in South Australia, pp. 204–236. Adelaide: Wakefield Press.

  6. Jones, P. G. (2010). ‘A Yardea frontier ‘in Knights, M. (ed.) Naturally Disturbed, pp. 7–13. Exhibition catalogue, SASA Gallery, 6 April–7 May 2010. Adelaide: University of South Australia.

  7. Jones, P. G. (2010). ‘Aboriginal dress in Australia: evidence and resources’ in Maynard, M. (ed.) Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion: Volume 7 – Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, pp. 17-26. Oxford: Berg.

  8. Jones, P. G. (2009). ‘George French Angas: colonial artist at large’ in Anderson, J. (ed.) Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration and Convergence, pp. 387-93.  Melbourne: Miegunyah Press, M.U.P.

  9. Jones, P. G. (2008). ‘The ‘idea behind the artefact’: Norman Tindale’s early years as a salvage ethnographer’ in Peterson, N., Allen, L. and Hamby, L. (eds.) The Makers and Making of Australian Indigenous Collections, pp. 315–54. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

  10. Jones, P. G. (2007). Ochre and Rust. Artefacts and Encounters on Australian Frontiers.  Wakefield Press, Adelaide.