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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Papuan Official collection(1042)

    Eharo mask
    Carved human figure
    Canoe paddle
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Bark painting of birds, fish and snakes
    Creatures of the Arafura Swamps by John Bulunbulun
    Bark painting by Dawidi Djulwadak
    Wooden carving of a crocodile

    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.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Correspondence School Super Primary Department Progress Certificate for 1st Year Drawing and Applied art

    Needlework has been an important creative outlet for women throughout Australian history. This work has often been denigrated due to the (gendered) divide between high and low culture which regards domestic work as trivial, feminine and unworthy of the title "Art". A reassessment of history informed by womens' history and feminism has led to domestic needlework being acknowledged as more than simply functional labour. The social role of this type of work is now better appreciated making it a vital aspect of domestic material culture.

    This collection consists of objects relating to the life of Minetta (Nettie) McColive (nee Huppatz). Mrs McColive's quilts form the centre piece of the collection. Three of these were made in the 1930's, the Farm Life Quilt, Wildflowers Quilt and the International Quilt. Also featured in the collection are certificates, photographs and d'oyleys. This collection helps to document issues such as women in rural Australia, quilting and needlework, education in the outback, community or commemorative quilting, shows and competitions.

    Mrs McColive's work has been the subject of considerable interest both in South Australia as well as in the general quilting community. Her work is featured in two books, Jennifer Isaac's The Gentle Arts and Margaret Rolfe's Patchwork Quilts in Australia. Her work has also featured in exhibitions such as the Quilt Australia '88 exhibition as well as an exhibition held in Prospect showcasing the work of local artists.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The last of the Tasmanians: Wm. Lanne; Trucanini.
    Como Bridge & Boatshed, Sutherland Shire
    Sydney Town Hall
    Lane Cove River, Sydney, N.S.W. Christmas Greetings
  • Alick Tipoti collection no. 3(2)

    'Maza Mawa (Wapiya) II' by Alick Tipoti, 2011
    'Sugu Mawa' by Alick Tipoti, 2011
  • Dorothy Bennett collection(167)

    Milikapiti (Snake Bay) at Kulama Time.
    Water Lily Lagoon
    Wooden decorated carving, 'Jabiru', from Melville or Bathurst Island
    Hunting by the Sea.
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Handwritten recipe
    Essay by Jim Maple-Brown titled Transport by the Camel in Australia
    Envelope addressed to G Faithfull, The King's School, Parramatta
    Drafting scale

    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.

  • Horse Era Museum collection no. 2(19)

    Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies 4 NHP portable steam engine, Serial No 18053
    Double Abbot buggy used around Boorowa in the 1870s
    Collar from a dress horse harness set
    Wooden wall mounted telephone switchboard