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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Group of mountaineer's children, Fiji
    Botanical Gardens - Sydney
    Scene, Botanical Gardens, Sydney
    Federal Houses of Parliament. Canberra N.S.W
  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    Fibre basket by Dadda Samson, 2008
    'Kiriwirri' by Jan Billycan, 2008
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Cattle at Durba Springs' by Mervyn Street, 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..

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from H. Honey, 1834
    Convict love token engraved with the text WELSH MARTYRS
    Convict love token from H.H.
    Convict love token from Edward Kershaw, 1834

    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.

  • Ken Ross collection(20)

    P.D.L. 10 Mile Road Championship 1923 sash
    Goulburn to Sydney Road Race 1934 - 56th place medal
    Bathurst to Sydney 1927 - Fastest time sash
    C.C.L.B.C. 20 Mile Road Championship NSW 1919 sash

    The Ken Ross collection comprises 11 medals, 9 sashes and 1 racing jersey which belonged to professional cyclist Ken Ross. Ross competed successfully as a road cyclist in New South Wales during the 1920s and 1930s. He was also among the few Australian cyclists competing in Europe after the First World War and was among the first English-speaking sportsmen to enter German after the conflict had ended. The collection includes medals and sashes won in Australia and Europe.

    The bicycle has played an important role in Australian life since the 1880s, both as a sport and as a means of transportation. Cycle racing was immediately popular with clubs forming in every state by the 1890s. The period after the First World War saw a great revival of competitive cycling and local and interstate competitions drew large crowds and full newspaper coverage. The few Australian cyclists who left Australia in the 1920s to compete overseas established a long tradition of professional cyclists who have achieved success at an international level.

  • Banks Florilegium collection(2476)

    Hibiscus meraukensis Malvaceae
    Petalostigma banksii
    Erythrina vespertilio Leguminosae
    Epacris longiflora

    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.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    The Tourist.
    Pincushion with pins
    Graham Henderson Florence Faithfull - Yorke Hazel'
    Jessie Harris (nee Baker) with her children,  Jessie, Phyllis, George (Tom).

    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)

    Namanjwarra (Estuarine Crocodile) by Curly Bardkadabbu
    Fish scoop
    Landscape painting.
    Egg scoop by Yvonne Koolmatrie

    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.

  • Snowy Scheme - Ken Johnson collection(25)

    Blowering Dam
    Souvenir card Blowering Dam - Ceremony to mark the first release of water for irrigation
    Entree card for the Official Opening of Tumut 2 Project
    Official Opening Ceremony of Tumut II Project

    The Snowy Scheme - Ken Johnson Collection consists of several objects once belonging to Ken Johnson, an engineer on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. The items are a gelignite box, slide rule, various souvenir and opening programs and invitations, official reports and manuals, and project reports relating to various major Scheme structures.

    The Snowy Scheme is Australia's largest engineering work and one of the great engineering feats of the world. Designed to produce irrigation water and electricity, the Scheme took 25 years to construct, 1949-74. Including 7 power stations, 16 dams and 225 kilometres of aqueducts and tunnels, the Scheme was built by a workforce of 100,000 people, two-thirds of whom came from overseas. The scheme played a major part in making Australia multi-cultural, and also in developing Australia's manufacturing, technical and engineering capacities. This collection, consisting of items mostly used by Snowy engineer Ken Johnson, helps to remind us of the role of engineers in such a massive undertaking. The project reports and opening invitations and programs chart the construction of many elements of the Scheme, the slide rule reflects the calculations made by engineers, and the gelignite box is a reminder of the massive excavations created by Scheme workers.

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