Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Helen Eager and Christopher Hodges collection no. 2(43)

    Untitled painting by Ada Bird Petyarre
    Untitled painting by Lucky Kngwarreye Morton
    Awelye painting by June Bird
    Awelye- panel 3 by Glora Petyarre

    This collection consists of works made during the 1990s by artists at the Ngkawenyerre camp in the Utopia homelands, NT. They are varied in size and media, and in good condition. All works refer to aspects of the 'Awelye' ceremony and feature women's body paint designs. The associated ceremonies are an integral part of community life and the 'Awelye' is performed by women to ensure the fertility of the land, spiritual and physical well being and social harmony.

    Aboriginal people of the Utopia region have a strong tradition of mark making in a range of media and their work is well represented in museum and art gallery collections in Australia and overseas. These works, collected in the 1990s, are seminal examples that represent the early transference of ceremonial design from traditional forms and methods of painting to portable two dimensional surfaces for outside audiences. They are historically significant examples of the use of introduced tools and materials such as acrylic paint on canvas and papier mache and wire. The papier mache figures were an experimental form, of which few examples now exist.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7550)

    Hotel Mansions, Kings Cross, Sydney
    Child with a billycart standing beside a picket fence, outside a timber house.
    Women standing on a dirt path, with a river in the background
    Australian Bush Fire Series
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2103)

    Bark painting depicting a goanna with a forked tongue
    Wandjina with Rainbow Serpent and boomerangs
    Poster with image by J Samuels
    Egg scoop by Yvonne Koolmatrie

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Raymond Holliday collection(78)

    Volin case for John Devereux violin
    Violin made by William Auchterlonie, 1939
    Viola made by William Holliday, 1963
    Violin made by John White, 1953

    The Raymond Holliday collection comprise 64 violins, two viola, four violin bows, 23 music cases, one display case demonstrating flute-head making, and three booklets. The collection also features significant documentation detailing information about Australian violin makers and a selection of material representing Raymond Holliday's flute-making business.

    The collection is representative of one century of Australian violin-making from the 1800s to the late 1900s. It demonstrates the variety of makers and skills in the craft. It is also distinguished by the collector's hand - his creations, his life-long passion for violins, and his important role in advocating recognition of Australian musical instrument making. The collection features violins and violas, most of which were made by a very wide cross-section of Australian makers including well known professionals, or makers using Australian timbers. The handmade display of flute head joints used to promote Holliday's business at instrument-making fairs and music exhibitions is a poignant object showing his flute-making activities. The collection reflects the value of music in everyday life and the determination to innovate, experiment and create.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Horses watering, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - Wagon crossing a stream bed, Victoria River district, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3502)

    Cream coloured envelope addressed to ' W. P. Faithfull Esq.'
    School report
    Handwritten note of sections of the bible
    Handwritten receipes

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Baron Ferdinand von Mueller collection(158)

    Hypoxis Glabella
    Spinifex Hirsutus
    Trachymene australis
    Spyridium parvifolium
  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting depicting six crabs by Tom Djawa, Milingimbi, 1965
    Painting depicting a crocodile, by David Milaybuma
    Bark painting depicting Macassans boiling down trepang by Mathaman Marika, Yirrkala, 1964