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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Australian mining. The upper stopes of a gold mine
    George St. Sydney
    Circular Quay, from the Harbour, Sydney
    Macquarie Street, Sydney
  • National Sports Information Centre collection(37)

    Black and white photograph of US swimmer Frances Cowells
    Black and white photograph of US swimmers and twins, Ruth and Eleanor Smith
    Autographed photograph of Australian swimmer Mina Wylie
    Black and white photograph of Australian swimmers Fanny Durack and Mia Wylie with British swimmer Jennie Fletcher
  • Beth Dean Carell collection no. 2(78)

    Sketch of Beth Dean in a seated dance pose wearing an orange-brown costume with white swirls, [5 min Sketch by Bill Constable 1950]
    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
    Sketch of Beth Dean in a seated dance pose wearing an orange-brown costume with white swirls, [5 min Sketch by Bill Constable 1950]

    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.

  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(53)

    Black bible associated with Ben Chifley
    Four letters of condolence to Mrs Clark and two photographs
    Bathurst District Hospital Womans' [sic] Auxiliary
    The Omrah Chronicle, account of voyage Sydney to London 1899

    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.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from Deney Briant, 1831
    Convict love token from W. Sindary, 1827
    Convict love token from T.C., 17th July 1787
    Convict love token from Thomas Freeman, 1843

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

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

    'Oijal and the yams' - Yirrkala, 1948
    The Honey Man, Boubit-Boubit, work on paper, Oenpelli, 1948
    Painting depicts a waisted rectangular figure within a thin rectangular frame
    The  North-east wind
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Malta- Armoury- Duche's [sic] Palace - Valletta
    Pencil sketch depicting a cliff with a ruined castle
    Certificate
    Envelope addressed to Marian Isabelle Wilcocks

    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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Nell Basedow walking toward house, Yalata station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Munjinna Bill, who accompanied the explorer R. F. Maurice on all his expeditions, at Maurice's grave, Yalata station, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Glass plate negative - Men and horses pulling the expedition car up a sandy stream bank, Victoria River district, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - Central Mt. Stuart, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
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