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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Maningrida Arts and Crafts 02/09/1974 collection(32)

    Painting depicts a fresh water crocodile
    Painting depicts the hollow logs used in the gong ceremony and
    Painting depicts the hollow log gongs used in the gong ceremony and
    Painting depicts
  • Banks Florilegium collection(2476)

    Bomarea edulis
    Dendrophthoe vitellina
    Ceriops tagal
    Bougainvillea spectabilis Nyctaginaceae

    The Banks' Florilegium was published by Alecto Historical Editions (London) in association with the British Museum (Natural History) between 1980 and 1990. Each of the 100 sets that comprise the edition consists of seven hundred and forty three botanical line engravings, after the watercolours drawn from nature by Sydney Parkinson recording the plants collected by Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Carl Solander during their voyage round the world on HMB 'Endeavour' with Lieutenant James Cook, 1768-1771. Each set is divided into 35 parts and housed in Solander Boxes. Each print or sheet within the set is identified by a blind embossed stamp on the recto, recording the publisher's and printer's chops (ie: their signatures), the copyright symbol and date. The initials of the individual printer, the plate number and the edition number are recorded in pencil. The plate-marks are virtually uniform in size: 18 x 12 inches (457 x 305 mm), and the paper is Somerset mould-made 300gsm, each sheet watermarked 'AHE' and produced specially for this edition by the Inveresk Paper Company. The sheet of paper on which the image is printed measures 28 ½ x 21 inches (724 x 556 mm), and each of the engravings is protected within a double-fold sheet of the same acid free paper which has been cut to form a window mount. Every print includes watercolour embellishments added by artists working directly from Banks' own notes. The condition of the Museum's set, No 5/100, is excellent.

    The Banks' Florilegium records and celebrates the botanical discoveries made during the first voyage of scientific discovery undertaken by Britain's Royal Navy. In addition to the vast collections of botanical and zoological specimens created, astronomical observations made and accurate maps compiled during HMB Endeavour's voyage to the Pacific, the east coast of Australia was mapped and claimed for the British Crown, leading 18 years later to the establishment of a colony in New South Wales. Joseph Banks, who financed and led the natural history contingent onboard the Endeavour, planned to publish the botanical results of the voyage in a 14 volume folio work. He hired artists to complete Sydney Parkinson's drawings and engaged a team of 18 engravers to create the copperplates. The project took 12 years and was then put aside by Banks who was by now President of the Royal Society and closely involved with the Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, the British Museum and was a friend of and unofficial advisor to the King. Sir Joseph, as he became in 1781, would go on to serve as a member of the Board of Longitude, the Coin Committe and the Privy Council's Committee for Trade, and Plantations, and his wealth, social position and extraordinary range of contacts within the political, scientific, manufacturing and diplomatic spheres made him one of the most influential figures of his day. Although the Florilegium was not published during his lifetime, he took steps for its preservation and made the drawings, notes and specimens upon which it is based available to interested visitors to the Herbarium he maintained at his home.

  • David Westcott collection no. 6(22)

    Certificate
    Silk embroidered 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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The Cumberland, Lorne, Vic
    You chaps make for cover - this may be a booby trap!
    Like the Boomerang May You Come Back
    The Promenade Bronte Beach, N.S.W.
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 5(60)

    Bark painting 'A mam or namandi spirit in Margolidjban' by Dick Nguleingulei Murrumurru, Gunbalanya, 1968
    Bark painting 'The mimi man Normogormo on his way from Majong to Guriba' by Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, Gunbalanya, 1968
    Bark painting 'Rainbow snake in the stone country of Gumadir' by Yirawala, Croker Island, 1968
    Bark painting 'Nimbuwa rock' by Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, Gunbalanya, 1968
  • Peter Brokensha and Bobby Bardjarai Nganjimirra collection(25)

    Bark painting 'Nakidjkidj and Mimih at Nimbuwa Rock' by Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, Gumardir River Outstation, 1970
    Bark painting 'Woman sitting on rock' by Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, Gumardir River Outstation, 1970
    Long and Short Yam Totems
    Ngalyod The Rainbow Serpent being speared

    The collection consists of 25 natural earth pigment on bark paintings, all painted by prominent western Arnhem Land artist and respected Nadjalama elder, Bobby Bardjarai Nganjimirra (1915-1992). His subject matter ranges from ancestral beings such as Yawk Yawk, Ngalyod the rainbow serpent and Mimih spirits, to mundane subjects such as dilly bags and digging sticks to collect cheeky yams, a long necked turtle, and a white barramundi. The paintings illustrate the symbolic connections between the realms of the everyday and the spiritual. An accompanying photograph of the artist at work is held in the Archive collection.

    Western Arnhem Land bark paintings are closely tied to rock paintings and are characterized by figurative representations against a background of red ochre. This collection documents the range of subjects depicted by Nganjmirra during the early 1970s. It enhances the museum's holdings of this important artist.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Manytjimi Berries, a dot painting depicting three cross shapes
    Bark painting 'Djang'Kawu Sisters at Gariyak' by Valerie Munininy 2
    River Dreaming - woven fibre mat
    A tea set with ATSIC logos

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • L Richard Smith breastplate collection(20)

    Cobbler, King, Mogil Mogil
    Sambo [crossed out], King of Mount Morris, W.M. Hill
    Bob Wheelpoolee, King of Boulia, 1930
    Jimmy (King), Brisbane Water

    This collection is comprised of seventeen Australian Indigenous breastplates (also known as king plates or gorgets). They come from a collection accumulated by L. Richard Smith, a noted collector of medals and porcelain. The breastplates are associated with Indigenous people from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The breastplates are all metal, of varying size, and are generally crescent shaped. Each is inscribed with the recipient's name, and many include an associated region and an honorary title such as 'king', 'queen' or 'chief'.

    During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum's existing breastplate collection.

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