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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    The Prince's Square, Launceston, Tas
    York street and Wynyard park, Sydney
    Discovery of Australia series VI - Torres, in the San Pedro, passes through Endeavour Straits, and sights Australia. 17 Sep., 1606.
    19.. High School 16
  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Kiama Agricultural and Horticultural Association 117th Annual Show, 1965  for first prize for a tapestry bag
    Certificate awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson at the Evandale Agricultural Society Autumn Show, 1975 for second prize for a tapestry bag
    Certificate awarded at the Royal Society Agricultural of Tasmania Royal Show, Hobart, 1966 for first prize for a tatted butterfly doily
    Certificate awarded at the Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society 82nd Annual Show, 1960  for second prize for a nasturtium luncheon set of table linen
  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    'Nyakungtjuungku' by Lucy Loomoo, 2007
    'Kunawarratji' by Nora Wompi, 2007
    'Wayampajarti' by Wakartu Cory Surprise, 2007
    'Lipuru, Kukupanyu and Wajaparni' by Kuji Rosie Goodjie, 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..

  • Margot Child collection(1215)

    Advertisement from Town and Country Journal, 11 May 1910
    Wedding invitation
    Card of appreciation
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Budgerigars in the Sandhills, painted by Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri, 1975
    Painting depicts kangaroo painted in the X-ray style
    'Travels of Mala the Hare Wallaby', painted by Timmy Tjugudai Tjungurrayi, 1981
    'Yawalurra', painted by Dinny Nolan Tjampitjinpa, 1975
  • Warakurna History Paintings collection(33)

    Making the Cut Line with Len Beadell by Jean Burke
    Tjanpi by Polly Pawuya Jackson
    Warakurna Community by Tracy Yates
    Mr Grayden by Judith Yinyika Chambers

    This collection consists of thirty-three paintings produced by Warakurna Artists for a collaborative commercial exhibition with the Outstation Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition, 'History Paintings - All the Stories got into our minds and eyes', opened in May 2011.

    The collection is significant as a broad and comprehensive body of work that presents a series of (related) Aboriginal perspectives on events in Australian history, some of which fundamentally challenge other accounts in the historical record. The collection documents the historical perspective of Ngaanyatjarra people who currently reside in the community of Warakurna. Contextualised by more customary mythic narratives, most of the works address historical events and provide an insight into the Aboriginal experience of contact on the colonial frontier. Taken together, from the Seven Sisters Dreaming to football carnivals in Warakurna today, the collection encompasses 100 years (and more) of history in the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

  • Songlines - Alison Munti Riley collection(1)

    Seven Sisters
  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(53)

    Black bible associated with Ben Chifley
    St Stephen's Womens Guild fete
    Four letters of condolence to Mrs Clark and two photographs
    advertising leaflet and lace sample

    The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

    Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.