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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Elizabeth Kay collection no. 2(19)

    Invitation Mr C B Kay to attend a garden party at Government House, Canberra, in 1936
    Supper card for the 1934 State Ball at Old Parliament House
    Dance card from the State Ball at Old Parliament House in 1937
    Photograph of Harry Hawker and his Sopwith aircraft at Caulfield Racecourse 1914

    The Elizabeth Kay Collection consists primarily of early Canberra tourist ephemera, dance cards and invitations for Canberra events during the 1930s, and a variety of other items dating from the 1920s and 1930s related to aviation, Boy Scouts, Commonwealth Railways and anthropological research. The material relates to Kay, her family and their interests.

    Mrs Kay (nee Moss) moved to Canberra in 1926, after completing her education in Melbourne, joining her father Mr HP Moss who had been working in the position of Chief Electrical Engineer in Canberra since 1912. The objects relating to aviation, the Commonwealth Railways and anthropological research came into Mrs Kay's possession through her father, who collected Aboriginal artefacts from a number of sites in the Canberra area. A program from the 1934 Australian Scout Jamboree Sunday service was given to Kay's brother, John Maxwell Moss, who attended the event. Kay's aunt, Hilda Maxwell (later Lyall) and eldest brother, James Maxwell Moss, are pirctured among the crowd watching Harry Hawker flying over Caulfield Racecourse in 1914. The invitations and dance cards for balls held at Old Parliament House and at the Forestry Commission during 1933, 1934 and 1936, relate directly to Mrs Kay and her husband, Cecil Kay, dating from before their marriage with 'Miss Elizabeth Moss' favoured for numerous dances on Mr Kay's dance cards. The Canberra tourist ephemera belonged to Cecil Kay and were likely purchased in 1932. The open letter written to Prince Edward of Wales on his Royal Tour in 1920 expressing the importance of patriotism towards the British Empire was given to Mrs Kay at her primary school in Melbourne.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The Glory of a Lion is his Mane
    Cerebos Table Salt is used in all parts of the world
    The Lakes Road, Mt Gambier, SA
    The hospital, Swan Hill, Vic
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Painting by Gordon Syron - Church On Hill, 1982
    Painting of a landscape
    Painting by Gordon Syron - Middle of tryptic
    Landscape by Greg Kelly

    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.

  • Benny Zable collection no. 2(137)

    Letter from Benny Zable to the Organisers of ANZART, 1985
    Photograph and newsclippings of Benny Zable at Roxby Downs
    Letter from Benny Zable to the Organisers of ANZART
    The Tree Lament

    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'.

  • Australian Survey Office collection no. 2(54)

    Case for a Kullberg No 1332 chronometer
    Kullberg Chronometer No 1332
    Kullberg No 1332 chronometer in a wooden case
    Hilger-Watts theodolite
  • Neil Jensen collection(72)

    Pink copy of Aeronautical Parts Certificate from Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd
    Aero Engine Overhaul Survey Report for G-AERD, as approved by the UK C.A.A., 3 October 1978
    Account from the Hotel George V, Paris, 13 September 1936
    Certificate of Airworthiness for aircraft HB-OFU in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1937

    The Neil Jensen collection consists of a Percival Gull Six aircraft, G-AERD, and associated archive. Made by the Percival Aircraft Company at Gravesend in Kent, England, in 1936, this aircraft was first purchased by Ariane Dufaux of Switzerland and registered as HB-OFU. After passing through several owners in Switzerland, the aircraft was sold to a collector and restored by Cliff Lovell in England where it was featured on the air show circuit and registered as G-AERD. Neil Jensen purchased G-AERD in 1983, and while it was based in Redhill, Surrey it was awarded the Percival Trophy by the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group.

    Born in Albury, New South Wales, in 1897, Edgar Wikner Percival served in Europe and Egypt with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Returning to Australia after the war, Percival operated a commercial aviation business while pursuing opportunities to design and manufacture new types of aircraft. In 1929, he travelled to England to work as a test pilot for the Bristol Aircraft Company, and in 1930 designed and manufactured the first low-wing cantilever monoplanes in the British Commonwealth. Percival formed the Percival Aircraft Company in 1932 and named the new aircraft series 'Gull'. Characterised by their graceful lines, the Gulls had light wooden frames covered with doped (lacquered) fabric and powerful four or six cylinder engines. PercivalÂ?s Gulls quickly established a reputation for high performance, with Percival designing racing versions named 'Mew Gulls', which won acclaim in the Kings Cup Air Race.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    A child with cropped hair sitting in a metal cot bed with a doll and books.
    Kaffir Beauty - epicts an African mother and child
    Loch Scaraig Skye
    Photographic portrait of Lord Kitchener

    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.

  • Andrzej Jedrzejowski collection(37)

    Certificate
    Certificate permitting A Jedrzejowski leave from 1400-2300 hours on 31 August 1946, for the purpose of going to Naples
    Certificate written in Polish and English permitting A Jedrzejowski leave from 18-19 August 1945
    Certificate
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