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Provenance & Ethics



Cooee Art cares about artists and supporting their work and livelihood. Our gallery team has travelled regularly to remote areas of Australia since 1981 to meet with artists on country to establish the exhibitions that we program and the works that we sell.

How a person or business works with Indigenous artists and their cultural material is a reflection of their knowledge, intellect and core values. Indigenous people may be the inheritors of the oldest continuous living culture in the world but they are amongst the most disadvantaged in Australia. Those who do business with them, therefore, have a responsibility to treat them with respect and, in the case of important elders, reverence.

Cooee Art has worked with Aboriginal artists for over 40 years showing the work of over 150 individual artists. It was a foundation member of the Australian Aboriginal Art Association and the Indigenous Art Code.

Cooee Art is committed to the following core principles:

  • To conduct its affairs in an exemplary manner with regard to the Indigenous arts industry and the Indigenous artists it represents

  • Act fairly, honestly and professionally in dealings with artists, clients, other dealers and all industry organisations

  • Provide proper disclosure of information relating to the authorship and provenance of any work exhibited and/or sold

  • Supply Authenticity Certificates for all artworks that are received directly from artists and original source certificates for all works that it receives directly from community art centres

  • Respect Indigenous cultural practices and artists’ rights

  • Strive for excellence in product presentation and service

  • Take proper care of artworks in its possession

  • Maintain appropriate records including the terms of agreements with artists

Just as those who deal in Aboriginal art have an obligation to be transparent and act fairly toward artists and their communities, they must also ensure that they treat their clients with equal respect and fairness.

As we evolve in the secondary market we will continue our work with modern and contemporary artists to form ongoing trusted relationships and these principles will be applied.


Since it was first established in 1981 Cooee Art has supported community-based art centres. It also supports independent dealers and artist’s agents and galleries that work directly with artists providing they are members of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia and/or the Indigenous Art Code.

Cooee Art held the first exhibition and art centre launch in Australia for Tiwi Design, Bathurst Island, in 1981, and held exhibitions for the newly established Maningrida and Ramingining communities in Arnhem Land as well as undertaking the first of many consultancies for Indigenous arts organisations over the following 5 years. From writing the marketing plan and developing product for Bima Wear, Bathurst Island, N.T. to the launch of the fledgling Balgo Hills community art centre in the late 1980s, Cooee Art went on to consult with remote community councils in the Tanami Desert and the Torres Strait Islands as they worked toward the establishment of community art organisations. During the early 2000s, it became the first to promote the work of Western Pitjantjatjara artists through staging exhibitions by the Spinifex People of Western Australia.


Cooee Art issues Certificates of Authenticity for every artwork it offers for sale. It provides 100% safe provenance and a money-back guarantee of authenticity.

Cooee Art’s certificates include the vital statistics and specifications of the artwork and any cultural information that has been sourced with the artwork and/or found through our extensive research library and resources.

These may include images of the artists and working photographs (if available) as well as any original source documentation that is available.

Cooee Art’s certification is accepted by the auction industry as a guarantee of ‘preferred’ provenance and authenticity due to the longevity of the business and its reputation in the field.


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