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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The tower of the summit of Mt Lofty, SA
    Beer Cadgers' License
    The King's Grotto, Fairy Cave, Buchan
    Barrenjoey and the golf links, Palm Beach
  • Dorothy Bennett collection(167)

    Muraina's Quarrel with Gandji, the Jabilai Man and Wurrban, the Emu Woman.
    A Mopadrrunga, Spirit of the Dead, on Bark: A  Mopaditti.  Inv:
    Bark painting 'Mirarrmina Sacred Well of Liagalawumirr' by Binyinyuwuy
  • 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.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Painting depicts humped rocks, a snake and three human figures
    Bark painting depicting the ceremonial Wawilak ground by Dawidi Djulwadak, Milingimbi, 1964
    Bark painting depicting sacred waterhole at Bilipinya by Wandjuk Marika, Yirrkala, 1966
    Narra ceremonies by Birrikidji Gumana, Yirrkala, 1966
  • Embroiderers' Guilds of Australia collection(138)

    Photocopy of technical diagram for installation and display of Parliament House Embroidery, side elevation
    Photocopy of technical diagram for installation and display of Parliament House Embroidery, top elevation
    Handwritten note found with sampler in folder
    Handwritten note found with sampler in folder

    This collection of fabric samples, stranded wools and cottons, samplers, seams, design cartoons and transfer material, mounts, needlework equipment, notes and photographs details the process of the making of the Parliament House Embroidery by members of the embroiderers' guilds of all eight States and Territories.

    The Parliament House Embroidery was created in a community gesture as a gift to the nation, one of many such initiatives around the time of the Bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. However, the scale of the embroidery was without precedence in Australia and the process of its making could be considered a historic event. The collection documents the extent of research, practice, experimentation and discussion undertaken by the highly skilled and imaginative needlewomen - all of whom were volunteers - as they evaluated materials and explored techniques to best interpret designer Kay Lawrence's painted cartoon. In charting the realisation of the Parliament House Embroidery, and its own concepts of national identity and relationships to land, the collection also provides opportunities for discussions of the art/craft debate, women's creative expression, collaborative and community art, and the nature of volunteering in Australia.The collection is additionally invaluable in documenting the evolution of a traditional craft practice into an art form in twentieth-century Australia.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Champion Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Special Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Yass Spring Show, 1906, Second Prize
    First prize card awarded at the Yass Spring Show, 1906
  • Margot Child collection(1215)

    A card to accompany a cake
    Card of appreciation
    Advertisement from Town and Country Journal, 11 May 1910
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Doronicum Grandiflorum
    Mauve satin covered ladies left shoe
    Great Gardens of the Western World

    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.