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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, NSW
    North Terrace looking east, Adelaide, SA
    Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour
    Double Bay, Sydney
  • Beth Dean Carell collection no. 2(78)

    Sketch of Beth Dean in a seated dance pose wearing an orange-brown costume with white swirls, [5 min Sketch by Bill Constable 1950]
    Costume design in gouache and pencil on paper with card backing, showing an Aboriginal woman wearing a feathered pubic apron and wristbands
    Kangaroo Man costume
    Costume design in gouache and pencil on paper with card backing, showing an Aboriginal man in costume

    The Beth Dean-Carrell archive and collections 1, 2 and 3 comprise a vast array of costumes, photographs, tapes, videos, documents and letters relating to the development, choreography and staging of a number of ballets dealing with Aboriginal myths and legends, including Corroboree, Kurdaitcha and The First Boomerang. As well, the collections contain a large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander (e.g. Cook Islands and New Zealand) and Papua New Guinean cultural objects.

    An early concern for, and appreciation of Aboriginal culture, led dancer, choreographer and writer, Beth Dean, and her husband singer, writer and film maker, Victor Carell, to spend several months researching dance in Aboriginal societies in the Northern Territory in 1953, and later, in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. Their research was assisted by anthropologists such as A. P. Elkin, T.G.H. Strehlow and C. P. Mountford and by traditional elders. Although based on cultural values and customary costume, Dean's ballet performances were interpretations, rather than literal representations, of Aboriginal ceremonial dances. Dean's was the second stage version of Corroboree in 1954, which was set to composer John Antill's musical score, Corroboree, which he completed in 1946. Antill was inspired to incorporate Aboriginal rhythm and melody into symphonic music following meetings with Aboriginal communities at La Perouse in Sydney. Both Dean's and Antill's productions reflected a post- World War II national trend by Australian composers and choreographers towards an intentional Australian cultural identity or national style which incorporated either actual or impressionistic interpretations of Aboriginal music, dance and culture. It is ironic, nonetheless, that Aboriginal people at that time were not considered to be Australian citizens, lacked many basic human rights, and were largely absent, not only from the lives of most urban white Australians, but from the concert performances through which only selective versions of their culture were portrayed. However, while these performances would be considered unacceptable today, Beth Dean's intention was not to further marginalize Aboriginal people but to sensitively and considerately convey to Australian audiences "the ethics, wisdomÂ?discipline [and] harmony of Aboriginal customs and culture.

  • David Westcott collection no. 6(22)

    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One
    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One
    Second World War Prisoner of War Banknote
    Embroidered silk postcard from World War One

    The Bradman, World War One and agricultural collection (David Westcott) consists of five World War One silk postcards; six 19th century agricultural show prizes; eight "Japanese invasion money" notes from the Netherlands East Indies; one book on Donald Bradman (1948).

    With the separation caused by overseas service during World War One, postcards became an important way to reduce the pain of absence for those at the front and those at home. Silk postcards, initially hand-made in France but later mass produced, were a popular souvenir to send home. The Japanese Government authorised various printings of so-called "invasion money" to equate approximately with each occupied country's pre-war currency. After Japanese forces were defeated, the Allies destroyed all known "invasion money" issues, but many examples were souvenired by servicemen. The agricultural show certificates provide and important link into the agricultural economy of Federation-era Australia (in particularly the Victoria-New South Wales border). The book on Donald Bradman was written by journalist and selector AG Moyes. Moyes was a State selector who helped bring Bradman into top class cricket. He was clearly a great admirer of Bradman, as well as a friend. The book is an example of the development of the Bradman legend at a key moment in "The Don's" career.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate

    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.

  • Neville Locker collection(29)

    Convict leg irons
    Police baton
    British Pattern 1842 .75 smooth bore percussion musket used by the 12th Foot (East Suffolk Regiment)
    Waterproof cover box for bullion box

    This collection comprises objects relating to the colonial period of Australian history, particularly the convict era, the gold rush, and nineteenth-century policing. They include a record of punishments meted out to the inmates of the Point Puer Boys' Prison, the Empire's first juvenile detention centre; a waistcoat worn by a convict assigned to work at a Hobart inn; a bullion box used to transport gold from the diggings to the Sydney Mint; a musket belonging to a soldier of a regiment deployed to quell miners at the Eureka Stockade and Lambing Flat riots; and a spring gun of the kind used to kill thylacines (Tasmanian tigers).

    These and the other objects in this collection help to tell stories of the development of wider colonial and post-colonial Australian society, including the emergence of Australia's financial sector, transport networks, representational structures and police services. The convict-era objects also help chart how successive systems of discipline, influenced by the latest concepts in penal reform, transformed the convict experience over the years. The collection documents the changing way in which Australians and others regard this nation's convict heritage, and how this heritage has been represented in museums and the media. It also demonstrates the often misguided approaches used by settlers to manage Australia's natural heritage.

  • Tommy Fawcett collection(1)

    Modified and battered green Toyota Landcruiser 40 Series Short Wheel Base Four Wheel Drive vehicle known as the 'Buff Catcher'

    The Tommy Fawcett collection consists of a steel-encased, armour plated Toyota four-wheel drive vehicle, modified to catch feral buffalo. The bullbar is equipped with a heavy steel "bionic catching arm", designed by Cal Carrick. Heavy bars welded to the catcher's side prevented rolling and protected the vehicle and its occupants in case of collision. The curved restraining arm is mounted along the frame's right hand side to allow its operation by the driver. The arm pulled the animal's neck down against a buffering plate.

    Vehicles like Tommy Fawcett's "buffcatcher" replaced horseback mustering of buffalo and dominated the feral buffalo harvesting industry in the Northern Territory during the 1970s and 1980s. The animal catching unit attached to the vehicle was designed and patented by Kal Carrick in 1981, and enabled single operators, such as Tommy Fawcett, to capture wild buffalo. The catching device and other vehicular modifications were created in response to the needs of the feral buffalo harvesting industry and to local environmental conditions. The feral buffalo industry, which collapsed following the introduction of the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC), has been a key element in shaping contact history in western Arnhem Land and has had significant environmental impacts. The buffalo catcher with its locally engineered "bionic arm" provides material evidence of the responses of people working within the industry to the physical challenges posed by both the animals and the environment.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Calendar
    The Saturday Magazine
    The Tourist.
    Pencil sketch depicting three women

    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.

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    The Mamandi, Warluk
    painting depicts a tall rectangular object, outlined in red with a 'spout' attached at the top
    The Women, Miwal and Wanu-wanu
    Bark painting, Kestrels and Chicks
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