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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    White Horse Point & Drummoyne from Balmain
    Barren Jack, The Valve Pipes
    The Rowing Club, Murray River, Mildura, Vic
    Independent Order of Rechabites  Temperance Friendly Society
  • Colledge Family collection(296)

    Invitation addressed to Mr and Mrs Burton for the wedding of Elizabeth Duffield and Howard Dossor, 1958
    Vauxhall car in front of a Penong Hotel SA.
    Letter asking Mrs Burton to donate memorabilia of her equestrian career to the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales
    GRANVILLE SHOW 1952, blue felt show pennant with gold-coloured block text
  • Dr Lamont West collection(11)

    Palm leaf bound with a narrow length of palm leaf forming a circular armband
    Fire drill set
    Bifacially edge ground stone hatchet head hafted into a wooden handle
    Fire drill
  • Bruce Breaden collection(17)

    Aboriginal stockman hat
    Leather hobbles with chain
    Aboriginal stockman checked shirt
    Aboriginal stockman belt and knife pouch

    This collection consists of 17 objects worn or used by Bruce Breaden in his daily work as head stockman on cattle stations in central Australia: an Akubra hat, a pair of R. M. Williams elastic-sided boots, a pair of R. M. Williams trousers, two long-sleeved shirts, a long-sleeved jumper, a synthetic belt (featuring a leather pocket knife pouch or sheath, counted as a separate object), a pocket knife, a Syd Hill Giltrow Poley saddle (with breastplate, stirrups, girth and surcingle attached), a leather quartpot holder, a leather saddlebag, a bridle, a pair of reins, a plaited fibre lead rope, a hobble chain and a branding iron.

    Bruce Breaden's stockman's kit represents the history of Aboriginal people in the cattle industry of northern Australia and their essential contribution to the development of what is now one of the nation's major exports (and a major source of national iconography). The collection also represents Mr Breaden's personal expertise in traditional skills so vital to the industry before the advent of aerial mustering, beef roads and satellite technology. However, the Equal Wages Case of 1965 forced him off cattle stations, including those on his own country. A Luritja man born at Tempe Downs, where he also first started work, Mr Breaden fought for 25 years until he secured land rights over the Tempe Downs/Middleton Ponds region on behalf of his people.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Coiled woven basket with hanging hook by Yvonne Koolmatrie
    Painting by Gordon Syron - Left side of tryptic
    Morning Star by David Malangi
    Plaster bust

    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.

  • William and Jeanette Derham Family - Bendigo Pottery collection(417)

    Ceramic hot water bottle with screw cap
    Ceramic bread platter
    Ceramic demijohn with cork
    Ceramic jardiniere

    The William and Jeanette Derham family collection is the physical manifestation of Mr Derham's commitment to documenting the work of Bendigo Pottery, its wares and institutional history, as well as the association he and his family had with the business between 1968 and 1983. The collection consists of historic Bendigo Pottery ceramics from the 19th and 20th centuries which illustrate the diversity of wares produced between 1858 and 1971, as well as a comprehensive range of items manufactured during the Derham era. This material is supported by a unique collection of stamps and printing blocks used as part of the manufacturing and advertising processes as well as documentary materials, photographs and ephemera which illustrate working life at Bendigo Pottery.

    Since its establishment in 1858, Bendigo Pottery has played a significant role in the history of Australian ceramics, producing wares ranging from the domestic and decorative, to the utilitarian and industrial. The history of the business illustrates the process of technological transfer in the decorative arts, the adaptation of imported ceramic traditions to local markets and the development of distinctively Australian imagery, styles and pottery products. Bendigo Pottery has provided useful products and employment opportunities to the community for 150 years and on an aesthetic level ensured that the skills of the potter, which so easily could have been lost with the advent of mass production techniques, have been preserved for posterity.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Patchwork quilt formed in a mosaic pattern of squares and pentagons

    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.

  • National Sports Information Centre collection(37)

    Black and white photographic postcard of the NSW Team of Swimmers and Supporters, Brisbane, 1911
    Souvenir miniature cricket bat, signed by the 1987 Australian and English women's cricket teams
    Autographed photograph of Australian swimmer Fanny Durack
    Black and white autographed photographic postcard of Mary E, 1917