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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



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

    Wandjina with Rainbow Serpent and boomerangs
    Bark painting titled 'Mortuary Ceremony'.
    Fish scoop
    Proclamation regarding South Australia and the native population

    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.

  • Gerhard Laves collection(64)

    Head ornament
    Bone awl
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Military Hospital and Civic Post-Office - Mena Camp - Cairo
    Hume Reservoir, Albury NSW
    Postcard featuring a coloured print of the Australian flag, with an inset photograph of mounted soldiers
    C & V Richards, Dentists, 94 Oxford St, City. Reception Room
  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Weapon - Spearthrower
    Long narrow mesh bag formed from two-ply looped fibre-string
    Naluk - The Woman
    South East Wind
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Unidentified man
    Princes Bridge, Melbourne
    Wedding of Minna Gibson to Edward W. A. Kendall on 12 February 1901 at Burrungurroolong
    Ladies dyed pink satin left tango shoe, with a clear cut bead at the centre top

    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.

  • Guna Kinne collection no. 2(2)

    Novadu Terpi - Pattern book
    Amber bead necklace

    The Mrs G. Kinne Collection No 2. includes an amber necklace and a 1939 Latvian pattern book, 'Novadu T?rpi' (District Gowns). The pattern book was used by Mrs Kinne to sew the blouse and sleeveless vest which was part of her traditional Latvian costume, acquired by the National Museum of Australia in 1989. The long amber necklace was sent to Mrs Kinne by her sister in law from Latvia in the 1950s and was worn with the costume on various occasions.

    Mrs Kinne's experiences are representative of post-war Latvian migration to Australia. After World War Two, the Australian Government adopted a new immigration policy which encouraged European emigration to Australia to boost a low population. By 1952 almost 20,000 Latvians had come to Australia as part of the program. Many, including Mrs Kinne, participated in Latvian community organisations formed to help maintain cultural activities and provide mutual social support as emigrants adapted to life in their new country. Mrs Kinne and her husband arrived in 1948 and settled in Melbourne. They became actively involved in the Good Neighbour Program and took part in various Latvian celebrations and gatherings where Mrs Kinne wore her traditional costume.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - The expedition camp, Oodnadatta, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Lantern slide - View from the sea of Point Charles lighthouse, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1905
    Glass plate negative - The McAuley family, Karrathunka Waterhole, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Week old baby sleeping in a wooden container, Innamincka station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
  • Charles Hart collection(489)

    Mourning disc
    Mourning disc