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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • 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.

  • Robert and Irene Goard collection(43)

    Debrie Parvo model 'L' 35mm hand-crank movie camera and accessories, used by Frank Hurley
    Stereographic viewer
    Circular metal film canister used by Frank Hurley
    Circular metal film canister used by Frank Hurley

    The Robert and Irene Goard collection comprises cameras and other photographic equipment owned and used by prominent Australian photographers and businessmen Charles Kerry, George Rose and Frank Hurley and amateur photographer and engineer Ernest Macartney de Burgh. The collection includes a dry whole plate field camera and a wet plate sliding box camera used by Kerry, a Lizars Challenge stereo camera owned by George Rose and a 35mm Debrie Parvo cine-camera acquired by Frank Hurley for the 1929-30 British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expeditions. It also includes a Sanderson folding plate camera awarded to de Burgh by the Institute of Engineers to recognise his securing the prestigious Telford Premium award in 1903-04.

    From the 1880s to the 1920s, professional Australian photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley created an extensive record of urban and rural life in eastern Australia and developed highly successful businesses producing and selling portraits, landscape views and news and event photographs as prints, postcards and stereocards. These photographers also exhibited overseas and imported views of the world, including, for Hurley, of Antarctica, for Australian consumption. Through these practices, photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley shaped both Australians' understanding of and interest in their own social and natural environments and Australians' perception of their place in the world.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    There's a new coon in town
    Australian Aborigines' Mission. Miss Baker, Secretary. Mission House, La Perouse
    Rushcutters Bay, Sydney
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The Philp Cabinet
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Painting depicting modjarki, freshwater crocodile, by Dick Nguleingulei Murrumurru
    The Two Women Dreaming by Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi 1974-75
    'Wallaby dreaming', painted by Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, 1975
    'Snake Dreaming at Naruingya', by Yumpuluru Tjungurrayi, 1976
  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting depicting the log on which Barama floated to Gangan by Garwirrin Gumana, Yirrkala, 1965
    Narra ceremony.
    Bark painting depicting designs from both Arnhem Land moieties by Djunmal, Milingimbi, 1966
  • Mervyn Street collection(4)

    Old Days of the Stockmen, 2012 by Mervyn Street
    Early Days (at the Billabong), 2012 by Mervyn Street
    Old Trucking Yard, 2012 by Mervyn Street
    In the Mustering Days, 2012 by Mervyn Street
  • Joan Richmond collection(50)

    First of a set of three postcards from Joan Richmond - England
    Envelope to Mrs. John Richmond
    Handwritten letter from Joan Richmond to her mother
    Third of a set of three postcards from Joan Richmond - England

    The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

    Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.

  • E Milne collection(652)

    Aboriginal breastplate for Sawyer, King of Wickham Hill
    Boab nut incised with designs of animals
    Aboriginal breastplate for 'King John Cry, Chief of the Duedolgong Tribe, Argyle'
    Aboriginal breastplate for John Neville, King of Mahaderree