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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Postcard featuring a comic pen and ink sketch of soldiers in a change room
    A hospital
    The Courthouse, Parramatta
    London Bridge cave, Tenterfield, NSW
  • Nettie McColive collection(189)


    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.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Nyilangkurr' by Donald Moko, 2007
    Fibre basket by Yikartu Bumba, 2008
    'Kaningarra' by Manmarr Daisy Andrews, 2007
    'My Father Looking for his Brother' by Clifford Brooks, 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..

  • Claude Dunshea collection no. 1(4)

    Miner's short-handled pick
    Handmade wooden gold mining cradle on rockers
    Gold pan associated with Claude Dunshea
  • Anne Stockton collection no. 1(1158)

    Received three letters so pleased Georgie very happy at school pleasant trip love from all, Innes
    LCO Aumuller Powhattan Hankow. Home Sick Nankin Love Innes
  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Long narrow mesh bag formed from two-ply looped fibre-string
    Wooden paddle
  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Special award certificate given at the Hay Pastoral & Agricultural Association 94th Annual Show, 1966 for a cross stitch delphinium tray cloth
    Certificate awarded at the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary N.S.W Glouster Show for first prize for a tatted butterfly doily
    Certificate awarded at the Wangaratta Agricultural and Industrial Society Annual Show, 1968 for first prize for a calico apron
  • George and Sylvia Milne collection(6)

    Federation-era bunting
    Queensland Federation medallion
    Federation-era bunting
    Australian Commonwealth Federation medallion

    Associated with the Federation celebrations of 1901, this collection consists of six decorative and souvenir objects. The vendor acquired the collection in approximately 2001 during research into the social history of Federation. A Federation flag and two pieces of bunting depicting the Union Jack and portraits of royalty were thought to have been used in street decorations. Two souvenir medallions and a souvenir silver teaspoon were produced as souvenirs for the Australian public. All objects are in a good state of conservation.

    Federation provided an opportunity for the new nation to assert its position within the British Empire and was enthusiastically celebrated by the Australian public. As documented in archival collections, this collection may be examined as an example of the commercial aspect of street decoration in many urban centres across the country. It also illustrates the centrality of small promotional souvenirs to many individuals' participation in the celebrations surrounding Federation.