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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Grand View guest house, Mt Gambier, SA
    Sir Harry Rawson Laying Foundation Tablet, Masonic Hall, Ryde, 16.5.08
    Horse teams pulling wagons loaded with wool bales from Boondara, dated Aug 1918
    The Blue Mountains, Govett's Leap, NSW
  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    'Katatjilkarr to Kaningarra' by  Miriam Napanangka, 2007
    'Puntuwarri' by Pukarlyi Milly Kelly, 2007
    Coolamon by Pampirla Hansen Boxer, 2008
    Fibre basket by Janice Nixon, 2008

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • Joseph Tice Gellibrand collection(4)

    Metal container and knife
    Writing case used by Joseph Tice Gellibrand
    Photograph of Eliza Gellibrand
    Photograph of Jane Macdonald Gellibrand

    The Joseph Tice Gellibrand collection consists of a writing desk, a lock of hair and two photographs, one of Eliza Gellibrand and the other of Great Aunt Jane Macdonald Gellibrand. It also includes a small silver-plated case and a small knife blade, perhaps an ink eraser, which is missing its handle. The writing desk is made of mahogany with a rosewood interior and is missing some brass inlays as well as the brass medallion from the lid. The desk sustained some damage during a bushfire in 1906. The writing desk has two secret drawers, which are revealed by releasing a concealed latch.

    Joseph Tice Gellibrand was the first Attorney-General of Van Diemen's Land arriving in Hobart in 1824. He was dismissed from office two years later after numerous disagreements with Lieutenant Governor George Arthur. In 1835, Gellibrand, along with John Batman, Charles Swanston and John Hedler Wedge formed the Port Phillip Association, a group determined to expand their pastoral holdings and realise the potential of the rich grazing lands on the mainland. Gellibrand provided legal advice to John Batman and prepared the original draft for the Batman Land Deed. He believed in protecting the legal rights and entitlements of the Aboriginal people and hoped that this treaty would initiate changes to the British Government's policies towards Aboriginal people. Gellibrand disappeared on an expedition with George Hesse exploring the hinterland of Port Phillip in 1837.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)


    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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Man with spear poised, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Expedition party crossing a clay flat, north-west of Gill's Bluff, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Clay tablet carved with human and animal tracks
    Film negative - Moving horses across the crossing near Victoria River Downs station, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
  • Olive Pink collection(77)

    Head ornament
    Hand made pick
    Pigmented oval shield
    Hooked boomerang
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Marble Church Near Rhyl
    Large tortoiseshell hair comb

    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.

  • E Milne collection(652)

    Aboriginal breastplate for Peter, King of Tchanning
    Kimberley point
    Bottom grinding stone [stone implement]