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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Jack Wherra collection no. 1(21)

    Engraved boab nut 'Capturing the Cattle Killers' by Jack Wherra
    Engraved boab nut 'Spearing Stockman' by Jack Wherra
    Engraved boab nut 'The Card Game' by Jack Wherra
    Engraved boab nut 'Whiteman's Justice' by Jack Wherra

    This collection consist of a series of 21 incised boab nuts by the Kimberley artist Jack Wherra (or Wheera). They were executed between 1964 and 1966 and record contact history stories.

    The nuts are a significant social record of cross-cultural interrelations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from the perspective of a known Aboriginal person. The range of topics as described in the titles include: Whiteman's Justice, Spearing A Stockman, Police Intervene After A Fight Over A Woman, Capturing The Cattle Killers, Illicit Drinking And Violence, The Card Game That Ended Badly and the anthropologist Records Rock Art. Jack Wherra's own story as an tribal man who found himself at the mercy of both white and black law after a tribal incident provides additional insights into the complexities of contact history.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Mangling Day Out Back
    Group of men in uniform hats on the deck of a ship
    QSL card for VK-2HS
    Sketches of Tommy's life - Out on rest - No 9
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Malta - Entrance to Grand Harbour
    Lilian Faithfull, Auntie Bess and Ann Deane
    Album containing 80 photographs of the gardens at Camelot, and AIF soldiers in Fremantle and at Gallipoli
    A man and a woman on a park bench with a cow in the background.

    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.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Portrait of David Unaipon by Lyell Dolan
    Shield with red square - QLD - painted by Paul Bong
    Bark painting depicting Njalyot the Rainbow Serpent by Peter Marralwanga, Marrkolidjban
    Plaster bust

    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.

  • Alexander Mussen collection(33)

    Letter from Samuel Bromley to Thomas Mussen, June 1865
    Letter from William Mussen to Alexander Mussen, December 1862
    Letter from J.A. Sharpe to Thomas Mussen, July 1865
    Letter from Alexander Mussen to Thomas Mussen, February 1856

    The Alexander Mussen Collection consists of 3 sketches, one ambrotype portrait, newspaper clippings, 13 letters and a death certificate relating to Alexander Mussen, his time on the NSW goldfields and his death, in 1864, at the hand of bushrangers. Alexander Mussen was a young Canadian, the son of a well known merchant in Montreal. It seems he fell into some disrepute and debt in Canada and travelled to the NSW goldfields to both try his luck and redeem the family name.

    The gold rush in Australia had a major impact on society, culture, the environment and politics. The population increased dramatically, society became more diversified, colonial governments had to respond to the changes and the rest of the world became increasingly aware of Australia's wealth. The Mussen collection provides a personal and intimate insight into the practical workings of some New South Wales diggings, society more generally, law and order on the goldfields and the continuing connection between those who came to Australia and family left behind.

  • Jack Gallaway collection(5)

    Achromatic, brass telescope eyepiece used by Captain John Gore
    Brass telescope eyepiece used by Captain John Gore
    Wood and brass telescope tube in a leather case used by Captain John Gore
    Glass lens and brass lens cover for a telescope used by Rear Admiral John Gore

    The Jack Gallaway collection consists of two items; a Dollond Day or Night telescope and a Gilbert and Co look stick. The Dollond telescope belonged to Captain John Gore (1729/30 - 1790) the 3rd (later promoted to 2nd) Lieutenant of the HMB Endeavour under command of Captain James Cook. The Gilbert and Co look stick is associated with Captain Gore's son, Rear Admiral John Gore, who immigrated to Australia in the 1830s.

    Captain Gore was involved in many significant maritime explorations throughout the 18th Century. His extensive experience enriched the exploration work of Captain James Cook and the later exploratory work of Sir Joseph Banks. The Jack Gallaway collection's significance is further enhanced by providing an opportunity to research the lineage of an Endeavour crew member in Australia.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Prize card awarded to Mr A. L. Faithfull 1890
    FIRST PRIZE, GOULBURN, 1907, A., P., AND H SOCIETY, Section J Class 122, Exhibitor A. L. Faithfull, Ewe 1 1/2 & under 2 1/2  Yrs
    Two rams facing each other in front of a rail fence
    Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1889, Special Prize
  • ET Fealy collection(303)

    National Security (Man Power) Regulations 1943
    Bread Manufacturer's Licence dated 26th June 1963
    Commonwealth of Australia Remittance by Group Employer, 1968