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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    U.S.A. Battleship Kansas
    It was very difficult - at first
    Postcard featuring a sepia photograph of 11 men posing in front of a bell shaped tent
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Bark painting depicting a hunter of the dreamtime called Migganarg.
    Bark painting 'Two possums climbing the tree of life with bird guardian at top' by Narritjin Maymuru, Yirrkala, 1977
    Bark painting depicting a 'nature story' of dukala, possums and lambalk, the sugar glider, by Bardayal Nadjamerrek
    Before Initiation Boys Receive Presents
  • Benny Zable collection no. 2(137)

    Photograph and newsclippings of Benny Zable at Roxby Downs
    The Tree Lament

    The Benny Zable collections comprise a diverse range of large and small objects, including a blue Ford XA panel van, conical road markers, protest banners and badges, costumes, photographs, political posters, leaflets, letters, placards, legal documents and documents. These objects were donated to the Museum by environmental protester, peace activist and performing artist, Benny Zable.

    Born in 1945 and raised in a Jewish family in Melbourne, the tragic senselessness of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War was the first in a series of life changing experiences for Zable who journeyed to Israel in 1968 to work on a kibbutz on the Lebanese border. This transformational experience was followed by visits to London and Paris, which, at that time, were witnessing the rise of counter culture and peace movements. The Paris student uprising in 1968 was a watershed event precipitating the largest general strike ever recorded, bringing France to a virtual standstill. The World Symposium on Humanities in Los Angeles, which Zable attended in 1979, coincided with the America's worst nuclear accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On his return to Australia, Zable became active in anti-nuclear protest organization, Nomadic Action Group (NAG). Using his artistic and performative skills, Zable developed a caricature costume of the grim reaper "I visualised a dark character with a skull head, "Greedozer" to portray the ugly side of civilisation". A pedestal, formed from black painted forty-four gallon drums, allowed for extra height from which to hang protest banners. On receiving an Australia Council for the Arts grant, Zable developed a road show, transporting his costume and toxic tower statue, to which he had added a PA system, a mike in the gas mask, a video display unit and tape deck, in a blue Ford panel van. After touring Australia, Zable travelled first to Asia and then the US, before returning to Australia and settling in Nimbin, northern New South Wales. Benny Zable has been continuously active in protest movements spanning three decades. Most recently, while acting as creative director for New York's Ecofest and attending the UN's International Vigil for peace, Benny brought his performance and costume to support the 2011 New York 'Occupy Wall Street' protest in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. This protest sparked a series of massive global protest movements among disaffected citizens throughout the world, prompting a remarkable move by Time Magazine to nominate 'The Protester' as its 2011 'Person of the Year'.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    The Tourist.
    Pencil drawing depicting three boats
    Photograph - Florence Ethel and Hazel Faithfull in Egypt

    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.

  • George W Barber collection(47)

    Discussion Poster No.21 - Where Your Taxes Go - November 1, 1948
    Discussion poster No.20 - Fuel and Power plans - October 18, 1948'
    Discussion Poster No.15 - The Menace of Inflation -  August 9, 1948
    Discussion Poster No.49, Choosing her Job, 28 November 1949

    This collection consists of forty-six colour paper wall posters and one A5 paperback booklet, 'This Changing World: An Atlas of Current Events - No. 1: The Pacific', issued by the Commonwealth Office of Education between 1948 and 1950. The heavily-illustrated posters present simplified viewpoints about world and national events and were designed for group discussion in schools, adult education organisations, community organisations and private enterprise. The booklet is a ready reference to post-war social, political, economic and geographic data on nations in the Asia-Pacific region and Antarctica. The objects were salvaged from the Maryborough Technical School, Victoria, which provided classes for ex-service personnel under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (1944-1950) as well as general vocational training.

    The Commonwealth Office of Education was created in 1945 under the Chifley Government as an agency of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction. The posters and booklet provide insight into a society undergoing profound change and embody official efforts to explain Australians' socio-economic and political position. Imaging an increasingly independent Australia forging a new role in the global and regional community, the collection documents the nation's industrial expansion and social restructuring at a time of full employment, a booming population and an increasingly sophisticated urban society. It also represents the Chifley Government's drive to stimulate post-war intellectual life and to reassert the concepts of democracy, egalitarianism and social justice. The posters additionally demonstrate contemporary ideas and techniques in pedagogy and graphic design.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Champion Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1889
    Prize card awarded to Mr AL Faithfull Wagga 1890
    Card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1885, Second Prize
    Second prize card awarded at the Yass Spring Show, 1906
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Sandstorm approaching from beyond Lake Killalpaninna, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Men fighting with clubs called 'kutturu', Luritja people, Finke River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Men at Aparanya, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Film negative - Herbert Basedow's dog Spottie wearing boots to protect his feet from burrs, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
  • Papuan Official collection(1043)

    Carved pig
    Cane cuirass
    Carved and mounted coconut
    Canoe paddle