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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    No.1 Carpenters' Shop
    Part of a pressed up ice ridge, Seal Bay
    Entrance of Blowhole
    Postcard featuring a comic drawing of four soldiers on donkeys, the pyramids in the background.
  • Macleay Museum collection(4)

    Phonograph used by anthropologist AP Elkin on his first expedition in 1927 to the Kimberley
    Patrol Box No.1 used by anthropologist Ian Hogbin in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, 1933-1935
    Wooden box containing phonograph attachments used by anthropologist AP Elkin in 1927
    Circular black metal hat box used by anthropologist Olive Pink

    The Macleay Museum collection comprises four objects associated with Australian anthropologists and their fieldwork expeditions in the first half of the twentieth century. These objects include a painted wooden supply box belonging to Ian Hogbin, circa 1933-1935, black metal hatbox used by Olive Pink (1884-1975) and a 1906 Edison Standard Phonograph recorder and wooden box containing phonograph attachments used by A P (Adolphus Peter) Elkin (1891-1979) in 1927.

    Unconventional Â? often controversial - artist, Aboriginal-rights activist, anthropologist and gardener, Olive Pink lived and worked among the eastern Arrernte of Alice Springs and the Warlpiri of the Tanami region. Olive Pink's extraordinary life was marked by her passionate advocacy for Aboriginal rights, and for her constant scrutiny of the actions of governments, civil servants, missionaries, academics, pastoralists, the courts and police. Shunning traditional anthropological practices, Olive Pink lived with Walpiri people at ThompsonÂ?s Rockhole in the Tanami Desert for several years, before "retiring" to Alice Springs in 1946 where she continued to fight for social justice, autonomy and dignity of Aboriginal people. The arid-zone flora reserve which she established Altjere-Tjukurpa (Dreaming) Reserve , has been renamed the "Olive Pink Botanical Garden" in honour of this remarkable woman. Olive PinkÂ?s hatbox serves to remind us of her exceptional life and her eccentricities, such as the hats she was known always to wear, with long, white, high-collared Edwardian dress and gloves, regardless of heat. Anthropologist, Herbert Ian Priestley Hogbin (1904-1989) conducted a series of field studies in Melanesia in 1933-1934, first in Guadalcanal and Malaita in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, and then in Wogeo in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. He was appointed to a permanent position in the anthropology department at the University of Sydney in 1936 by its new head A P Elkin, holding the position until his retirement in 1969. According to anthropologist Jeremy Beckett, Ian Hogbin loved the isolation and deprivation which fieldwork in his day had entailed. He is remembered for his pioneering research in the Pacific Islands and his influence on the formative development of anthropology in Australia. Appointed as professor in 1933, Elkin remained in charge of the anthropology department at Sydney University until 1956, during which time he was virtually in total charge of anthropology in Australia. According to biographical notes, the Edison phonograph recorder in this collection had been picked up by Elkin for three pounds at a shop near Central Railway in preparation for his first field trip to the Kimberley in 1927, and was probably transported by donkey wagon during the expedition. The recorder would have been profoundly strange to the remote Aboriginal people whose music he intended to record, but is a reminder of the meticulous observation and recording practices for which Elkin was well known. Elkin later said the recorder had proved unsatisfactory.

  • Genevieve Head collection(1)

    Aboriginal breastplate for King Too Too, Crack Horsebreaker & Glastonbury Coach Groom
  • Georgy, Mudgee Policeman Breastplate collection(1)

    Given by Mr Whitting; Georgy, Mudgee Police man

    This collection comprises a brass breastplate presented in the late 1830s to Georgy, a Wiradjuri man of the Mudgee region of New South Wales.

    By the 1830s it was common practice to present Aboriginal people perceived as local leaders with breastplates in an attempt to aid peaceable settlement. Breastplates were also presented as a reward for labour or particular acts of heroism. Georgy probably worked as a tracker for the Mounted Police Force, the members of which were recruited from the military regiments in the colony. In the 'nineteen counties' designated by the colonial government the Mounted Police became prominent, mainly for the capture of bushrangers and runaway convicts - with the help of skilled Aboriginal trackers such as Georgy. He was presented with his breastplate by Joshua John Whitting, who served as a Lieutenant in the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment before joining the Mounted Police in 1836. It is possible that Georgy may have assisted Whitting in the successful investigation of a triple murder in February 1838.

  • Igor Zorich collection(32)

    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - A billabong, south of the Roper River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Lantern slide - Man scraping boomerang with a sharp stone flake, Luritja people, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Man with rock python, Liverpool River, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - Sandstorm approaching from beyond Lake Killalpaninna, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 2(85)

    The painting consisting of three horizontal sections with the central section having a small circle
    Painting is an abstract design of patterned & black horizontal bands
    Bark painting depicting 30 circles, in combinations of black, white, red or yellow
    Bark painting
  • Thomas Hinton collection(11)

    Studio portrait photograph of Thomas Hinton alongside an 'Advance Australia' banner.
    Studio portrait photograph of Thomas Hinton standing beside a table.
    Studio portrait photograph of Thomas Hinton alongside an 'Advance Australia' banner.
    Studio portrait photograph of Thomas Hinton with a case of tools and a collaged diorama.