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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7550)

    The Sundowners. The Size of the Job
    The Lake, Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, SA
    Greetings from the Antipodes [image of Aboriginal woman wearing red spotted scarf]
    Methodist Church, Newtown
  • Maruku Arts and Crafts collection no. 1(203)

    Hair belt
    Poisonous snake sculpture
    Snake sculpture
    Poisoned snake sculpture
  • Ken and Amirah Inglis collection(3)

    Carved wooden shield by Kabol of Sangapi, Bismark Schrader Ranges
    Ink drawing of Evil Spirits (1974) by Akis
    Beaten copper artwork by Matthias Kauage

    This collection consists of a carved shield typical of the Bismark Schrader region of Papua New Guinea, a signed and numbered print of the work Evil Spirits (1974) by the PNG artist Akis, and an image of the sun, trees and animals in beaten brass, by another significant PNG artist, Matthias Kauage. All of these objects were purchased by Ken and Amirah Inglis during their time in Papua New Guinea when Ken was foundation professor of history and later Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea.

    Australia was associated with the administration of Papua New Guinea as early as 1887, until its independence in 1975. In the 1960s the Australian administrative focus shifted from the economic to the political development of PNG, and steps toward independence began. One of these steps was the establishment of the University of Papua New Guinea in 1966, which trained many of the key identities in independent Papua New Guinea, and fostered an indigenous contemporary writing and arts movement. Its first professors - Australian academics Ken Inglis, Charles Rowley and Ralph Blumer - "were scholars of vision who attracted keen lecturers who devised imaginative programs."

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting depicting a Nyapililngu digging stick by Narritjin Maymuru, Yirrkala, 1967
    Painting depicts a crocodile and other creatures
    Painting depicts a large serpent coiled around 7 white eggs, surrounded by several figures
    Opossum tree story.
  • Ken Thaiday collection no. 3(2)

    Triple Beizam Headdress with Reef Fish, by Ken Thaiday Senior
    Beizam triple hammershark headdress sculpture or dance mask, by Ken Thaiday Senior

    The Ken Thaiday collection No. 3 consists of two hammerhead shark (Beizam) headdresses made by the Torres Strait Islander artist, Ken Thaiday Senior. Designed to be worn on a dancer's head, each headdress comprises several moveable (articulated) parts, which can be manipulated by the wearer pulling a series of strings.

    The beizam headdress is specific to the mythologies and religious traditions of Thaiday's clan and island group. Born on Darnley Island in 1950, Thaiday was taught art and dance from a young age. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, he worked as a dancer, and in 1987 he began constructing dance artefacts for his Cairns-based Torres Strait Islander dance troupe. Employing non-traditional materials and construction styles, his works evolved over time into elaborately articulated headdresses known as 'dance machines'. Thaiday's shark (beizam) dance machines epitomize his practice of combining traditional and contemporary forms.

  • John Magers collection(3)

  • Copper Charlotte Medal collection(1)

    Copper Charlotte Medal

    The copper Charlotte medal collection consists of a single small inscribed copper medal. The medal is a relic from the voyage which transported Australia's first European colonists. It is thought to have been produced by a convict - Thomas Barrett - on board the convict transport 'Charlotte', one of the eleven First Fleet ships. Barrett is supposed to have produced a silver medal - the silver Charlotte medal - for Surgeon General John White, to commemorate the historic voyage. Each of the ports the Fleet visited is inscribed on the medal with the arrival and or departure dates, including the arrival at Botany Bay on 20 January 1788 (the date for departure from the Cape of Good Hope is incorrect). On the silver medal Barrett included an image of the 'Charlotte'. The smaller copper Charlotte medal repeats the text in a slightly abbreviated form and does not include an image of the 'Charlotte'.

    It is believed that the copper medal was commissioned by William Broughton, White's personal servant on the First Fleet and subsequently a settler in the new colony, as his own momento of the voyage. The initials W.B. have been engraved on the copper medal in a different hand. Broughton and Barrett's fortunes in the colony were worlds apart. William Broughton remained in the colony when White returned to England. He became a respected public servant and landholder. In 1811 he received a grant of 1000 acres at Appin where he died in 1821. It in the vicinity of this property that the copper medal is reputed to have been found in the 1940s.Thomas Barrett became the first convict to be executed in the colony on 27 February 1788 for stealing provisions.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3502)

    The Tourist.
    Globularia Nudicaulis
    Matthew Arnold
    Document with handwritten reflections for each year of a man's age from thirty-five to forty-six years

    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.