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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society 82nd Annual Show, 1960  for second prize for a nasturtium luncheon set of table linen
    Third Prize awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson for 'Best Handworked Table Centre or Tray Cloth' at the 1971 Broken Hill Show
    Certificate awarded at the Margaret River And Districts Agricultural Society 31st Annual Show, 1965 for first prize for an appliqued doily
    Second Prize awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson for 'Prettiest & Best Tea-Cosy' by the Weethalle P & A Society
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    6WF Musical Comedy Company
    Harnessing in dogs and preparing to start, Captain's sledge party
    Blue wren
    Hayes & Russell Ltd, Ironmongers, Queanbeyan
  • Benny Zable collection no. 2(137)

    Letter
    Poster titled 'The Story of Forwards-Backwards Land'
    Letter from Benny Zable to the Organisers of ANZART
    Letter

    The Benny Zable collections comprise a diverse range of large and small objects, including a blue Ford XA panel van, conical road markers, protest banners and badges, costumes, photographs, political posters, leaflets, letters, placards, legal documents and documents. These objects were donated to the Museum by environmental protester, peace activist and performing artist, Benny Zable.

    Born in 1945 and raised in a Jewish family in Melbourne, the tragic senselessness of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War was the first in a series of life changing experiences for Zable who journeyed to Israel in 1968 to work on a kibbutz on the Lebanese border. This transformational experience was followed by visits to London and Paris, which, at that time, were witnessing the rise of counter culture and peace movements. The Paris student uprising in 1968 was a watershed event precipitating the largest general strike ever recorded, bringing France to a virtual standstill. The World Symposium on Humanities in Los Angeles, which Zable attended in 1979, coincided with the America's worst nuclear accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On his return to Australia, Zable became active in anti-nuclear protest organization, Nomadic Action Group (NAG). Using his artistic and performative skills, Zable developed a caricature costume of the grim reaper "I visualised a dark character with a skull head, "Greedozer" to portray the ugly side of civilisation". A pedestal, formed from black painted forty-four gallon drums, allowed for extra height from which to hang protest banners. On receiving an Australia Council for the Arts grant, Zable developed a road show, transporting his costume and toxic tower statue, to which he had added a PA system, a mike in the gas mask, a video display unit and tape deck, in a blue Ford panel van. After touring Australia, Zable travelled first to Asia and then the US, before returning to Australia and settling in Nimbin, northern New South Wales. Benny Zable has been continuously active in protest movements spanning three decades. Most recently, while acting as creative director for New York's Ecofest and attending the UN's International Vigil for peace, Benny brought his performance and costume to support the 2011 New York 'Occupy Wall Street' protest in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. This protest sparked a series of massive global protest movements among disaffected citizens throughout the world, prompting a remarkable move by Time Magazine to nominate 'The Protester' as its 2011 'Person of the Year'.

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Weapon - Spear
    Weapon - Spear
    Orion & the Pleiades
    Armband
  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate

    Needlework has been an important creative outlet for women throughout Australian history. This work has often been denigrated due to the (gendered) divide between high and low culture which regards domestic work as trivial, feminine and unworthy of the title "Art". A reassessment of history informed by womens' history and feminism has led to domestic needlework being acknowledged as more than simply functional labour. The social role of this type of work is now better appreciated making it a vital aspect of domestic material culture.

    This collection consists of objects relating to the life of Minetta (Nettie) McColive (nee Huppatz). Mrs McColive's quilts form the centre piece of the collection. Three of these were made in the 1930's, the Farm Life Quilt, Wildflowers Quilt and the International Quilt. Also featured in the collection are certificates, photographs and d'oyleys. This collection helps to document issues such as women in rural Australia, quilting and needlework, education in the outback, community or commemorative quilting, shows and competitions.

    Mrs McColive's work has been the subject of considerable interest both in South Australia as well as in the general quilting community. Her work is featured in two books, Jennifer Isaac's The Gentle Arts and Margaret Rolfe's Patchwork Quilts in Australia. Her work has also featured in exhibitions such as the Quilt Australia '88 exhibition as well as an exhibition held in Prospect showcasing the work of local artists.

  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 5(60)

    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
    Emu.
    Rainbow snake.
  • Vienna Mozart Boys Choir collection no. 1(363)

    Two members of Vienna Boys Choir
    German newspaper article
    Program for the Mozart Boy's Choir of Vienna

    Bunte magazine - Franz Denk

    The Vienna Mozart Boys Choir collection no. 1 contains souvenirs, toys, costumes, vinyl records, school books and other items that belonged to the 20 boys aged from 9 to 14 who toured the world from December 1938 to September 1939 as the Vienna Mozart Boys Choir.

    Having toured throughout the United States, the Pacific and Australia they became stranded in Perth when the ship on which they were to return to Austria was requisitioned. Germany had just invaded Poland and Australia had entered the Second World War. Dr Daniel Mannix, then the archbishop of Melbourne, offered that his parishioners would provide foster care in return for the boys forming a choir at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne. The boys soon started school and attempted to learn English as they learnt their lessons. Remaining in Australia, however, likely saved their lives, as they came of age during the war and would have been conscripted into the German army. Only one returned to live in Vienna after the war.

  • Matthew Flinders collection(4)

    Matthew Flinders' 'A Voyage to Terra Australis' (1814), Volume 1
    Matthew Flinders' 'A Voyage to Terra Australis' (1814) , Volume 2
    Terra Australis or Australia, the Parts Explored Bewteen 1798 and 1803 by Matthew Flinders
    Stream anchor from Matthew Flinders' ship the 'Investigator'

    The Matthew Flinders Collection comprises one copy of Matthew Flinders (1814, London) A Voyage to Terra Australia comprising two volumes of text plus an atlas. The text traces the coastal exploration of Australia to 1803 whilst the charts in the atlas represent the state of British knowledge of the Australian coastline in 1810-11. The text volumes and atlas were purchased from the collection of Kevin Crotty at an Australian Book Auctions auction.

    Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was an accomplished navigator who served in Australian waters from 1795 to 1803, engaged mostly on coastal survey work. His most notable achievements were to demonstrate that Van Diemen's Land was not part of New South Wales and that New Holland and New south Wales were part of one continental mass. Flinders is generally acknowledged as the first to use the term 'Australia' to name that continent.

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