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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Caricature of a kangaroo playing cricket
    Fijian war dance, Vanua Levu
    Girl in Scottish costume
    Romeo and Juliet
  • 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.

  • Hanna Lemberg collection(4)

    Blue grey zip front shift dress
    Purple grey woollen shift dress
    Brown hand-knitted cardigan
    Brown woollen coat

    The Hanna Lemberg collection comprises four woollen garments all hand made and worn by Hanna Lemberg (1899-1998). The four pieces include a grey woollen shift, lined long brown woollen coat, blue-grey zip front shift, and dark purple hand knitted cardigan. They demonstrate Lemberg's interest in natural fibres including pure wool, cotton and linen, natural colours, and simple lines. Her garments were almost always cut on the square, simple in design, with crocheted seams being a distinctive feature of her hand made clothes.

    Hanna Lemberg was a textile artist whose works included tapestries, clothing and rugs. Both Hanna and her husband, prominent biochemist Max Rudolph (Rudi) Lemberg lived the Quaker faith in Australia. The Lembergs became Members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in late 1954, having been helped in their migration to Australia by the Society in London. Hanna embraced the Quaker faith throughout all aspects of her life. The clothing made and worn by Hanna are a physical reflection of her religious beliefs, which shaped her appreciation of the environment and aesthetics.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from Alex D. Senior, 1839
    Convict love token from Scott
    Convict love token from Robert Salmon, 1841
    Convict love token from Elizabeth Catchpole, 1830

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

  • Joan Richmond collection(50)

    Rally car competitor's number plate 93 RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
    Letter and envelope from Kathleen Howell - Italy
    Third of a set of three postcards from Joan Richmond - England
    Nandi Sacred Bull, Banares

    The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

    Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.

  • Fred Myers collection(4)

    'Wanatjalnga', painted by  Anatjarri Tjakamarra and Charlie Tjaruru Tjungurrayi, 1974
    'Ngurrapalangu', painted by Uta Uta Tjangala, 1974
    'Ngunarrmanya', painted by Freddy Tjugudi West Tjakamarra, 1974
    'Possum Men of Yirtjurunya', painted by Anatjarri Tjakamarra
  • Warakurna History Paintings collection(33)

    Warakurna Roadhouse by Roshanna Yinga Williamson
    The Army Plane that came to Warburton by Eunice Yunurupa Porter
    Tjamu Tjukurrpa by Cecily Winiragu Yates
    The Wati who was looking for Lasseter by Jean Burke

    This collection consists of thirty-three paintings produced by Warakurna Artists for a collaborative commercial exhibition with the Outstation Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition, 'History Paintings - All the Stories got into our minds and eyes', opened in May 2011.

    The collection is significant as a broad and comprehensive body of work that presents a series of (related) Aboriginal perspectives on events in Australian history, some of which fundamentally challenge other accounts in the historical record. The collection documents the historical perspective of Ngaanyatjarra people who currently reside in the community of Warakurna. Contextualised by more customary mythic narratives, most of the works address historical events and provide an insight into the Aboriginal experience of contact on the colonial frontier. Taken together, from the Seven Sisters Dreaming to football carnivals in Warakurna today, the collection encompasses 100 years (and more) of history in the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

  • Colledge Family collection(296)

    GRANVILLE SHOW, blue felt show pennant with gold-coloured block text
    Photograph of Emilie Roach on mount
    Letter asking Mrs Burton to donate memorabilia of her equestrian career to the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales