George French Angas, Port Lincoln from Winter's Hill, 1845, watercolour, Art Gallery of South Australia 0.621

Explore colonial Australia and New Zealand through the eyes of artist George French Angas (1822–1886) in this beautifully researched and illustrated book from NLA Publishing.

In Illustrating the Antipodes, author Philip Jones analyses Angas’s rare and little-known watercolours, sketches, and journal entries. The artworks showcased in the book depict the diverse landscapes, plants, animals, objects, and people Angas encountered as a young man travelling around Australia and New Zealand.

Lavishly illustrated with artworks from the collections held at the National Library of Australia, the South Australian Museum, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, Jones’s dedicated research provides new insights into the most productive years of this artist’s life.

The publication has been generously supported by the South Australian Museum and the Gordon Darling Foundation.

About the author

Philip Jones is a Senior Researcher at the South Australian Museum. He has researched and written about Australian colonial frontiers since the 1980s, when he joined the South Australian Museum as a curator focused on Indigenous Australian material culture. In 2009 Jones was awarded a Harold White Fellowship at the National Library of Australia where he researched Angas’s works. This lifelong passion has culminated in this epic tale of George French Angas's life.

Ochre and Rust, his 2007 book of essays on museum objects and the Australian frontier, won the inaugural Prime Minister’s literary award for non-fiction.

Additional information

  • The work of George French Angas is the subject of a new exhibition at the National Library, also titled Illustrating the Antipodes: George French Angas in Australia and New Zealand 1844–1845. The exhibition is open from Saturday 14 August to Sunday 14 November 20201. It will then travel to the South Australian Museum, to go on display in 2022.
  • Media interviews and book extracts are available.
  • Review copies of the book are available.


Georgia McDonald
Media Liaison, National Library of Australia
T: 0401 226 697