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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • 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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Drawing of a kookaburra holding a snake in its beak.
    Woman in a creased robe
    Machattie Park, Bathurst, 1907
    Coleman's Shop. Camden
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Certificate issued by the Registrar of Brands for Augustus L. Faithfull
    Continuation of handwritten recipes for
    Gold pocket watch presented to William Faithfull by Joseph Foveaux in 1801
    Camelot, home of Lilian Faithfull-Anderson.

    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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Nell  Basedow in a rickshaw, Colombo, Sri Lanka, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1931 or 1932
    Glass plate negative - Preparing for an emu hunt, Wogait people, Anson Bay, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1905-1911
    Film negative - Sandhill vegetation, near Lake Wilson, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Film negative - Aboriginal children bathing, Sunday Island, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
  • Sporting Memorabilia collection(3)

    The Australian Cricketing Team, 1888
    The Official 1956 Olympic Games Film
    Complimentary Smoke Night tendered by the South Melbourne Cricket Club to Mr A. L. [Arthur Lindsay] Hassett

    The Sport and General Memorabilia collection (The Charles Leski Auction -A219) consists of one black and white photograph of the 1888 Australian cricket team, one programme booklet for a "complimentary smoke night" held in Melbourne in 1938 prior to an Australia-England test match series and one colour poster advertising the official film of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

    Cricket represented a field of endeavour where a sense of "Australianness" preceded the formal federation of the colonies. Cricket has operated a cultural institution that has both unified the Empire and Commonwealth, as well as at times contributing to Anglo-Australian tensions, particularly at a popular level (most notably during the "Bodyline" tour of 1932-3). The 1956 Melbourne Olympics were the first Olympic games held in Australia. The games are commonly associated with the introduction of television into Australian society, but most people would still have had to have seen official footage at the cinema. It is the film of the Olympics that this poster advertises.

  • Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud collection(85)

    Hand tinted photograph of Junior Champion Heifer Woodleigh Joyous Duchess

    The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection is an extensive collection of trophies, ribbons, medals, badges, prize certificates, showing equipment and stud cattle photographs. The items are associated with a beef shorthorn stud established by the Davis family of the Corowa district in the early 1950s, and are in good condition.

    These objects record a recent expression of a long tradition of showing stud livestock at agricultural shows in Australia and Britain. Stud competitions at annual shows in Australian cities and regional centres enabled the gradual improvement of sheep and cattle herds. Shorthorn cattle proved adaptable and hardy in Australia, and became one of the dominant breeds. The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection helps to record the successful establishment of the shorthorn breed in Australia and the role of agricultural shows in enabling the improvement of cattle breeds. The collection also reflects the dramatic changes experienced by the rural sector in the second half of the twentieth century as tightening economic conditions forced many rural families, including the Davis family, to sell their properties.

  • Harold Stevens collection(4)

    Camera tripod with telescopic legs
    Kodak camera case
    Autographic Kodak Junior camera
    Picture taking with the No.1A Autographic Kodak Junior...

    The Harold Stevens collection comprises an A1 Autographic Kodak Junior camera, camera case, instruction booklet and tripod. Amateur photographer Harold Stevens used this equipment during the 1920s and 1930s to document family life at his home in Rockdale, Sydney, and to record activities and scenes on holiday trips.

    Photography has been one of Australia's most popular leisure activities since American George Eastman released the Pocket Kodak camera on to the Australian market in 1896. The new roll-film cameras enabled everyday people to become competent 'snapshot photographers', and by the 1920s most families owned a camera. Amateur photographers created records of their lives, families and experiences. The production and sharing of these images has constituted a significant means by which Australians recorded and narrated their individual histories, family genealogies and social milieu.

  • Everitt and George Family collection(911)

    Front stage for a toy theatre
    Photographic print depicting Mr George with a toy theatre
    Photographic print depicting the toy theatre with adjoining side curtains
    Film-script titled 'Penny Plain, Twopence Coloured'

    The Everitt and George Family collection consists of over 800 objects including a Toy Theatre with a 'Redington' proscenium and a second back stage, play booklets and associated scenery, photographs of the Toy Theatre, and documents and working notes related to the collection. The collection is in good condition.

    The Toy Theatre was invented in England around 1811, reflecting the popularity of pantomimes and plays performed in the leading theatres around London in the same period. They soon became a favourite pastime for teenage boys and adult collectors alike, with a long list of publishers producing a wealth of material. B Pollock was one of the most famous of these publishers and the earliest pieces in this collection have been attributed to Pollock. Though this was largely an English tradition the collection reflects the first owner Edward Everitt's heritage, who migrated to Australia in the 19th century bringing parts of the Toy Theatre with him.