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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting 'Frog at Mirramina' by Mithinarri Gurruwiwi, Yirrkala, 1966
    Bark painting depicting an echidna by Yirawala, Croker Island, 1965
    Painting depicts black turtles
    Bark painting 'Yirritja Narra flying fox dance' by George Milpurrurru, Milingimbi, 1966
  • Betty Hall collection(58)

    Album containing 27 photographs of significant sites around Canberra, from the 1930's
    Letter to The Manager, Parliament House Dining Room, Canberra, ACT, from H Grattan Guinness, Managing Editor, 20th Century Fox Movietone News
    Invitation 'To welcome the Rt Hon H.V Evatt upon his return to Australia', 1942

    The Betty Hall Collection represents a unique collection of material relating to the history of the Parliamentary Dining Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House.

    This collection was put together by Mr H L Napthali who worked as the Chief Steward in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms from 1939 - 1945. He moved to Canberra in 1939 after having worked in the NSW Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. While at Provisional Parliament House Mr Napthali supervised a staff of fifty people and was responsible for purchasing as well as servicing the various bars and dining rooms within the House. He was also responsible for organising special dinners for commemorative occasions and for overseas visitors. Mr Napthali accumulated material relating to the history of the Federal Parliament both when worked in the NSW Parliament and in the Federal Parliament.

  • Maruku Arts and Crafts collection no. 1(203)

    Lizard sculpture
    Snake sculpture
    Goanna sculpture
    Bird sculpture
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Auburns Temporary Roll of Honour
    Deaf and Dumb Asylum, Newtown
    Three nurses standing, one patient sitting in a wheelchair and two patients sitting on beds
    QSL card for VK3TL
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Men, women and children standing with the foremost row of children sitting on a bench. Empire Day Picnic and Sports in aid of Belgian fund 1915
    The Tourist.
    The Explorer's Tree Katoomba.
    Black and white photograph of a horse behind a post and rail fence in front of the stables at Springfield

    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.

  • Beth Dean Carell collection no. 2(78)

    Costume design in gouache and pencil on paper with card backing, showing an Aboriginal woman wearing a feathered pubic apron and wristbands
    Costume design in gouache and pencil on paper with card backing, showing an Aboriginal man posed wearing a feathered headdress
    Sketch of Beth Dean in a seated dance pose wearing an orange-brown costume with white swirls, [5 min Sketch by Bill Constable 1950]
    Kangaroo Man costume

    The Beth Dean-Carrell archive and collections 1, 2 and 3 comprise a vast array of costumes, photographs, tapes, videos, documents and letters relating to the development, choreography and staging of a number of ballets dealing with Aboriginal myths and legends, including Corroboree, Kurdaitcha and The First Boomerang. As well, the collections contain a large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander (e.g. Cook Islands and New Zealand) and Papua New Guinean cultural objects.

    An early concern for, and appreciation of Aboriginal culture, led dancer, choreographer and writer, Beth Dean, and her husband singer, writer and film maker, Victor Carell, to spend several months researching dance in Aboriginal societies in the Northern Territory in 1953, and later, in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. Their research was assisted by anthropologists such as A. P. Elkin, T.G.H. Strehlow and C. P. Mountford and by traditional elders. Although based on cultural values and customary costume, Dean's ballet performances were interpretations, rather than literal representations, of Aboriginal ceremonial dances. Dean's was the second stage version of Corroboree in 1954, which was set to composer John Antill's musical score, Corroboree, which he completed in 1946. Antill was inspired to incorporate Aboriginal rhythm and melody into symphonic music following meetings with Aboriginal communities at La Perouse in Sydney. Both Dean's and Antill's productions reflected a post- World War II national trend by Australian composers and choreographers towards an intentional Australian cultural identity or national style which incorporated either actual or impressionistic interpretations of Aboriginal music, dance and culture. It is ironic, nonetheless, that Aboriginal people at that time were not considered to be Australian citizens, lacked many basic human rights, and were largely absent, not only from the lives of most urban white Australians, but from the concert performances through which only selective versions of their culture were portrayed. However, while these performances would be considered unacceptable today, Beth Dean's intention was not to further marginalize Aboriginal people but to sensitively and considerately convey to Australian audiences "the ethics, wisdomÂ?discipline [and] harmony of Aboriginal customs and culture.

  • Wight-Gullett collection(20)

    Top hat worn by Sir Henry Gullett
    Top hat worn by Henry Bayton Somer Gullett MC OAM

    Tail coat worn by Henry Gullet MC OAM

    Black evening dress waistcoat

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Pangkapini, Minyipuru' by Mulyatingki Marney, 2007
    'Kumpupirntily' by Yanjimi Peter Rowlands, 2008
    'Kalyuyangku' by Richard Yukenbarri (Yugumbari), 2007
    'Kurrkumalu' by Mayapu Elsie Thomas, 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..