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Biographical entry Bradshaw, Joseph (Joe) (1854 - 1916)

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
23 July 1916
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Explorer and Pastoralist


Joseph Bradshaw was a pastoralist who, in 1891, set out to explore his lease of over one million acres along the Prince Regent River in northwest Western Australia. During this journey he discovered Aboriginal rock paintings of a distinctive style and made sketches of the paintings. The drawings, the whereabouts of which were unknown for more than 100 years, were acquired in 2013 by the Berndt Museum and the University of Western Australia. Bradshaw abandoned the lease in 1894, taking up instead leases along the Victoria River and the west side of the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1902 and 1905 he donated to the British Museum Aboriginal artefacts from the Victoria River area.

Published resources


  • Parker, A., Bradshaw, J. and Done, C., A Kimberley adventure: rediscovering the Bradshaw figures (Marleston, S.A.: Gecko Books, 2007), 59 pp. Details
  • Walsh, G. L., Bradshaw art of the Kimberley (Toowong, Qld: Takarakka Nowan Kas Publications, 2000), 464 pp. Details
  • Walsh, Grahame L., Bradshaws ancient paintings of north-west Australia (Carouge-Geneva, Switzerland: Edition Limitée, 1994), 285 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Cusack, M., 'Joseph Bradshaw - getting lost in the Kimberley and the art he found there' in Kimberley history: people, exploration and development, Clement, C., Gresham, J. and McGlasham, H., eds (Perth: Kimberley Society, 2012), pp. 127-33. Details

Journal Articles

  • Rainsbury, M. P., '"Mr Bradshaw's drawings": reassessing Joseph Bradsahw's sketches', Rock Art Research, 30 (2) (2013), 248-53. Details
  • Rainsbury, Michael P., 'Joseph Bradshaw's "lost" watercolours found', Rock Art Research, 31 (2) (2014), 247-8. Details


See also

  • Clement, Cathie, Gresham, Jeffrey and McGlashan, Hamish eds, Kimberley history: people, exploration and development (Perth: Kimberley Society, 2012), 227 pp. Details

Helen Cohn