Emeritus Professor John Vincent Stanley Megaw AM is writing the world’s foremost tome on early Celtic art and has played a pivotal role in building the Flinders University art collection into a world-renowned repository of Indigenous art.
Professor Megaw studied archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, where he fell in love with and married Scottish student, Ruth, who shared his fascination for Early Celtic art produced in central Europe before the Celts moved to Britain.
Ruth Megaw, who died suddenly in 2013, co-authored 300 articles and more than a dozen books with Profesor Megaw.
Ruth’s presence remains in portraits that smile down on the computer files that contain the couple’s 20-year labour of love – the world’s defining tome on early Celtic art, the art of much of Europe in the last five centuries BC. Oxford University Press commissioned the book in 1990 and it is hoped finally to hit the presses in 2017.
Professor Megaw’s insights into adaptation of the latest fabrication and artistic techniques by the early Celts, drew him into studies of how Indigenous people adapted their artistic techniques following colonisation.
Forming close relationships with dozens of Indigenous artists at a time when Indigenous art was little recognised resulted in Professor Megaw amassing not only a network of friends and new knowledge about Indigenous art, but also an Indigenous art collection of national significance for Flinders.