Born: 8 May 1890, Hallett, South Australia
Died: 16 December 1976, Norwood, South Australia
In 1909 Charles Pearcy Mountford (Monty) became a tram conductor for the Municipal Tramways trust in Adelaide. Studying mechanics and engineering at the same time through the South Australian School of Mines earnt him a position of electrical mechanic with the Postmaster-General’s Department. In 1920 Mountford moved to Darwin (NT) as a Senior Mechanic. It was during this time that Mountford first encountered Aboriginal people and continued to record their art and culture until his death.
Soon after Mountford’s return to Adelaide in c1924, he commenced recording rock engravings. In 1926, he became a founding member of the Anthropological Society of South Australia. Through Mountford’s association with the South Australian Museum, he was a member or leader of many expeditions. Mountford also published prolifically and received many awards including an OBE and a Doctor of Letters from the University of Adelaide.
His collection in the South Australian Museum includes photographs, film, drawings and papers. The majority of the Mountford collection is held at the State Library of South Australia.
In 1935 Mountford was appointed Honorary Assistant of Ethnology at the South Australian Museum and from 1938 to 1939, he was appointed Acting Ethnologist whilst Norman Barnett Tindale (AA 228) was away on a Board for Anthropological Research (AA 346) expedition.