Abstract: Astronomical auction results first drew the world's attention to the phenomenon of the early Papunya boards: the thousand small painted panels on scrap wood, linoleum and packing cases that emerged from the remote Northern Territory Aboriginal settlement of Papunya in 1971 to 1972. What led up to this explosion of creativity? Why did the paintings remain hidden for decades? Why were sacred symbols revealing secret men's business depicted? What roles did artistic revolutionary Kaapa Tjampitjinpa and school teacher Geoffrey Bardon play? In this compelling and personal book, Western Desert art expert Vivien Johnson traces the controversies that surround these extraordinary paintings at the time of their creation - and what they mean now to the artists' descendants. Contents • Introduction • 1. The School of Kaapa • 2. 'So Beautiful' • 3. The Pintupi Factor • 4. The Problem of Secrecy • 5. The Midas Touch • 6. The Object of Protection • 7. Give Those Men a Real Voice • 8. The Icons Precedent • Epilogue.