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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver with accompanying leather holster and label referring to the bushranger incident.
    Large cream jap silk and grosgrain day hat
    Daguerreotype portrait of man in military uniform mounted in a brown union case with a red velvet lining
    Envelope addressed to Mrs A. I. Maple Brown

    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.

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

    Bark container
    Two Turtles by Billy Yirawala
    Gunyan White Sand Crab by Narritjin Maymuru
    Landscape painting

    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.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Kiriwirri' by Jan Billycan, 2008
    'Natawalu' by Helicopter Tjungurrayi, 2007
    'Jila' by Nyuju Stumpy Brown, 2007
    Majarrka shield by Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, 2007

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • Jessie Mackintosh collection(2)

    Corroboree folding game board designed by Jessie Mackintosh, 1945
    Corroboree board game booklet

    This collection consists of a "Corroboree" folding game board and a booklet of rules and notes explaining the activities of the Indigenous themes illustrated on the board. The game was created and designed by Jessie Macqueen Mackintosh in 1945. The condition of the playing board is good with no loss, wear or damage. The title of the game on the outside of the board has some insect damage. The booklet is fully intact with some creasing, peripheral tears and light marks.

    "Corroboree" is a dice-based game in which the winner is the first player to arrive at a central corroboree. The game reflects the growing awareness of Indigenous culture by non-Indigenous society in the mid-twentieth century. It is an example of the mainstream, commercial appropriation of indigenous motifs and cultural iconography by non-Indigenous artists and designers of the 1930s that peaked in the 1950s. The booklet accompanying the game cites Sir W Baldwin Spencer and Frank J Gillen's published anthropological work, undertaken in Central and Northern Australia, as the references used in the compilation of the game. The game is therefore significant as a tangible demonstration of how Spencer and Gillen's work was influential beyond the academic world, influencing popular representations and understandings of Indigenous culture. It is also an example of the mechanism by which representations of Central Australian Aboriginal culture came to define 'Aboriginality' for many non-Indigenous Australians during the mid-twentieth century.

  • Vane Lindesay collection no. 1(71)

    Letter from Maurice Horn, discussing illustrations for the book he is editing titled
    Letter from Maurice Horn, thanking Vane Lindesay for the 20 entries he contributed to the
    Letter from Maurice Horn inviting Vane Lindesay to contribute material to
    Letter from Maurice Horn, 1977
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Coogee Bay, Sydney, NSW
    David Jones
    The Mayor (Alderman H. Bell D.L) leading the music. Jubilee of Vernon Park
    Supply Creek, River Tamar, Tas.
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 2(85)

    The painting consisting of three horizontal sections with the central section having a small circle
    Bark painting
    Bark painting representing kulama initiation by Deaf Tommy in Snake Bay, Melville Island, 1965
    Bark painting outlined in white with black dots, divided into three panels by two horizontal lines of yellow and white with black dots
  • Dorothy Bennett collection(167)

    Wooden decorated dotting comb from Melville or Bathurst Island
    Wooden decorated carving of a pelican
    Bark painting 'The Sacred Law-Givers for the Yirritja People of North East Arnhem Land' by Birrikidji Gumana, Gangan
    Wooden decorated carving of a barn owl by Tjipungaleialum