Eric Thake 'The Habitat of the Dodo' - Collected by Julie

Every year, modernist Eric Thake would send his friends a hand-made Christmas card. Original linocut prints, these cards have since become canonical, each observing a changing nation through one its most distinct voices. There are notes of humour, critique and poeticism.

Dated 1943, ‘The Habitat of the Dodo’ sees a dodo gaze into its museum enclosure. It is a gentle satire of museums, the word “habitat” – typically reserved for the living – turned on its head. Are museums zoos for the extinct? What draws visitors to stare at fabrications of nature, stuffed dodos in make-believe wilderness?

Represented across numerous public collections, including at the National Gallery of Victoria, this is a museum-quality work. It speaks to Thake’s remarkable wit and ingenuity, a prize for collectors of modernist, surrealist and Australian art. 

Eric THAKE (1904 - 1982)
'The Habitat of the Dodo' 1943
linocut on paper
Image Size: 15 x 17 cm
Dimensions: 18 x 34 cm, overall sheer size, scored to fold
Signed: Signed and dated lower right: Eric Thake 1943; titled lower left: The Habitat of the Dodo
Comes with Letter of Provenance

Impressions of this work are at the:
Art Gallery of South Australia, accession number: 775G20;
Art Gallery of New South Wales, accession number: DA46.1967;
National Gallery of Victoria, accession number: P115-1974;and
National Gallery of Australia, accession number: 73.257.3.

An impression of this work is illustrated in Colin Holden The Outsider: A Portrait of Ursula Hoff (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne: 2009), p. 26.

No inscription in card.

Condition: Excellent

© The Artist or Assignee