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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(4603)

    Child's drawing
    Child's drawing -  Giddy River Camp 1975 by  Jimmy Yalparr Wunungmurra
    Child's drawing
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7625)

    Kareela Railway Station
    Black and white photograph of
    Gladesville Bridge, Parramatta River, Sydney
    QSL card for VK4HA
  • Papuan Official collection(1327)

    Cane armband
    Resin in palm leaf
    Bamboo pipe
    Barbed fish trap
  • Balarinji Art collection no. 2(409)

    Teal arch with purple
    Butterflies and dragonflies
    Curve of green with white, yellow and grey

    The collection comprises 409 individual art works, predominantly gouache on paper, created by the Balarinji design studio. The works were created by John and Ros Moriarty and various artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who were part of the Balarinji team. This collection augments the collection purchased by the Museum in 2009, which contains the primary source material for many of Balarinji?s influential designs. This collection is also related to the Balarinji Business and Design Archive which was gifted to the Museum in 2009.

    Balarinji is the design label for the Jumbana Pty Ltd, a company co-owned by John Moriarty (Chairman) and Ros Moriarty, the first Indigenous-owned company to present the work of Aboriginal designers using their own iconocgraphy in culturally appropriate applications. Items in this collection reveal varied and particular designs that derive from many different and identifiable cultural areas across Australia. From its inception in 1983, Balarinji developed into a highly successful Australian design label sought after by Australian and international companies in commerce and the arts, executing commissions in both the public and private sectors. John Moriarty and Ros Moriarty were both recognised in 2014 for their contribution to Australian design by the Design Institute of Australia and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  • Guna Kinne collection no. 2(2)

    Novadu Terpi - Pattern book
    Amber bead necklace

    The Mrs G. Kinne Collection No 2. includes an amber necklace and a 1939 Latvian pattern book, 'Novadu T?rpi' (District Gowns). The pattern book was used by Mrs Kinne to sew the blouse and sleeveless vest which was part of her traditional Latvian costume, acquired by the National Museum of Australia in 1989. The long amber necklace was sent to Mrs Kinne by her sister in law from Latvia in the 1950s and was worn with the costume on various occasions.

    Mrs Kinne's experiences are representative of post-war Latvian migration to Australia. After World War Two, the Australian Government adopted a new immigration policy which encouraged European emigration to Australia to boost a low population. By 1952 almost 20,000 Latvians had come to Australia as part of the program. Many, including Mrs Kinne, participated in Latvian community organisations formed to help maintain cultural activities and provide mutual social support as emigrants adapted to life in their new country. Mrs Kinne and her husband arrived in 1948 and settled in Melbourne. They became actively involved in the Good Neighbour Program and took part in various Latvian celebrations and gatherings where Mrs Kinne wore her traditional costume.

  • Camberwell Trash and Treasure Market collection(16)

    Stereo photograph depicting the Coal Arch, Commonwealth Celebrations, Sydney, 1901
    Stereo photograph depicting the March Past at the Review, Duke of York Celebrations, Sydney, 1901
    Stereo photograph depicting the arrival of the Duke at the Review, Duke of York Celebrations, Sydney, 1901
    Stereo photograph depicting the Children's Fete, Cadets doing Exercises, Duke of York Celebrations, Sydney, 1901
  • Janet Furneaux collection(12)

    Pair of ivory-coloured wedding shoes
    Printed serviette for the marriage of Jan and Bob, Saturday 7 November 1959
    Jan Gillett Married in Parramatta Church
    Wedding place cards
  • Robert Croll Indigenous Artefacts collection(150)

    Boomerang adorned with pokerwork foliage designs and a bird, attributed to Tommy Foster, Lake Tyers, Victoria
    Boomerang featuring the Australian Coat of Arms, made by Tommy Foster, Lake Tyers
    Wooden club with pokerwork design, attributed to Coranderrk
    Boomerang attributed to Bill Onus

    This collection of 150 objects shows the agency of Indigenous people in designing and making 'tourist' artefacts and demonstrates their engagement with the non-Indigenous economy. It expands the NMA's collection of these often overlooked 'tourist, souvenir', Aboriginal objects.

    The attribution of many of the artefacts in this collection to particular artists and places is a significant element of this collection, as artefacts by known artists are difficult to obtain, and are a useful means of giving agency to Aboriginal histories. The NMA has very few Indigenous artefacts with artists attributed to them.