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Adam Cullen, well-known Australian artist, worked at the Australian National Maritime Museum for six years from 1994 and all his friends and colleagues here would like to say how saddened we were to hear of his death.

Adam came to the museum from the Museum of Contemporary Art and worked in our conservation and design areas as a preparator, forming the creative backbone of exhibition construction and installation.  Sculptor Stephen Crane, his supervisor, remembers Adam’s good humour and gentle nature in the workplace, often spiked with observations on life’s underbelly, and how many laughs were had when spacking, painting and finishing.

Wall in Commerce exhibition featuring Adam Cullen’s work.

Painting was what he did and sadly one of the core exhibitions which featured his gestures, some words scrawled on the wall about  the history of Trade Union movement, has just been bumped out, this week of his death.

Photo of

Adam Cullen’s Mark Occhilupo. ANMM Collection

Adam worked part time and left the museum after he won the Archibald Prize in 2000. The museum holds a startling portrait of surfer Mark Occhilupo in its collections and many stories of Adam in its soul.

Adam and I shared an interest in Eastern Long-necked turtles and I am very sad to hear that he can no longer enjoy them at his property in the bush.


Daina Fletcher

Daina Fletcher is a senior curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum.