Lars Gunnar and Niels Holger Anderson, for whom this collection is named, are the adopted sons of Jutta Fischer (Herrmann) Anderson and her late husband, Rolf-Dieter Herrmann. Donated to Luther in the spring of 2004 by Jutta, this collection consists of eight Australian Aboriginal Bark paintings from Arnhem Land. Most of the collection originated in Oenpelli, an Aboriginal settlement in Australia's Northern Territory. Art of the region is stylistically distinct and is known especially for its "x-ray style" in which the artists depict what they know rather than what they see. Additional Aboriginal artifacts were donated by Jutta (Herrmann) Anderson and are maintained by the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work.
Jutta Anderson and her first husband, Rolf-Dieter Herrmann, were gifted one of the paintings in this collection and purchased the rest when they spent three months in Canberra, Australia in 1974.
Bark paintings made in Arnhem Land were usually created from a eucalyptus species that can be found only in this region. Art of the region is stylistically distinct and is known especially for its "x-ray style" in which the artists depict what they know rather than what they see. Most of the paintings in this collection include cross-hatching or parallel lines in the bodies of the animals, as well as a depiction of the animals' organs, spinal columns, digestive tracts, etc. Anderson suggested that the works in this collection relate to everyday activities, as the artists were not considered professional, but were individuals who integrated painting into their daily activities. The drawing of a totemic animal can be likened to a prayer for or an anticipation of a successful hunt.
Jutta Anderson explains the goal of her donation:
"Over the past thirty years the continued presence of these artifacts in my various homes served as a reminder of that power that art has to teach us about worlds yet unfathomed. It is my wish that this collection may have a similar effect on this school that is predominately shaped by its European tradition and that it may instill in its students the desire to explore and value otherness."
Lars Gunnar and Niels Holger Anderson, for whom this collection is named, are the adopted sons of Jutta and her late husband, Rolf-Dieter Herrmann. They were adopted again by her second husband, George Anderson, shortly after their marriage.