Arnaud Morvan


Arnaud Morvan‘s research interests cover the fields of Indigenous art history, museum studies, Indigenous knowledge, and environmental studies. Since 2003, he has undertaken several long-term fieldwork inquiries and art collaboration in Australia and in France, and has published more than 20 essays and articles, notably on contemporary indigenous art. In 2010, he completed a joint PhD
at the University of Melbourne and EHESS-Paris, focusing on the East Kimberley art movement, and has written extensively about the art of Paddy Bedford, Freddie Timms and Brook Andrew, amongst others. Along with his academic activities, A. Morvan has worked as an independent curator and art advisor for several museums in Europe since 2007, while developing cultural projects with local communities.



He has carried out documentation and studies of several public collections
of Australian and Oceanian objects, notably at the Musée du Quai Branly,
Musée des Confluences, and the Musée d’Aquitaine. His approach often includes connections between ancient and contemporary art, as was the case during the major exhibition Vivid Memory. An Aboriginal Art History he curated and organised at the Musée d’Aquitaine in collaboration with the Melbourne Museum in 2013-2014. He recently co-curated the exhibition Blak Beauty with Estelle Castro-Koshy at contemporary art museum La Chapelle de Clairefontaine (2021-2022) and contributed to the French adaptation of the exhibition Songlines: Tracking The Seven Sisters (created by the National Museum of Australia) at the Musée du Quai Branly in 2023.



In the field of environmental humanities, he has extended his areas of interest
to research on Aboriginal cosmovisions and its links to biopolitics, in particular through the study of the relationships between totems, viruses and animals.
This multi-species approach is now used within the Ospapik program to conceive an ecology of museum collections through the concepts of conservation and degradation of Indigenous cultural objects integrating hybrid or recycled materials.





Selected publications






A. Morvan & P. Matharan (dir.), 2013 Vivid Memories, An Aboriginal Art History (Mémoires Vives. Une histoire de l’art aborigène), Paris-Bordeaux,

Edition La Martinière / Musée d’Aquitaine.




Essays /Arts



A.Morvan, 2024 (forthcoming),

“Winds of change: fragments of Jirrawun art history”, in Judith Ryan,

65,000 Years: A Short History of Australian Art.


A.Morvan & B. Glowczewski, 2021,

“Tracing colonial invisibility: the art of Brook Andrew in France”,

Garru Editions, Melbourne /

(French version : « Re-tracer les invisibilités coloniales.

L’art de Brook Andrew en France », Journal de la Société des Océanistes,

n°151, p. 353-367


A.Morvan, 2018 « Temporalités encapsulées dans les peintures aborigènes

du musée du quai Branly », Gradhiva, n°28, p. 50-75. /





Essays  / Environmental Humanities



Morvan, 2021 « Virus, totems et chauves-souris. Relations interspécifiques

dans le dispositif Hendra en Australie. », Anthropologie et santé, n°22. DOI :


Keck et A. Morvan, 2023, “Chiropteran reservoirs. Bat keepers and bat carers

in Ghana and Australia”, Ethnos, vol. 89 /


Morvan, 2023 « Le totémisme (australien) est-il une parenté multi-espèces ? », Terrain, n°78 /