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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Three dogs looking at a cage
    Paxton's Flower Garden
    Jessie Harris (nee Baker) with her children,  Jessie, Phyllis, George (Tom)
    May the flags that fly for freedom ever by victorious - union is strength

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    The Blue Mountains, NSW. Three Sisters, Katoomba
    Old Parliament House, Canberra,
    Sydney, N.S.W. - St. Mary's R.C. Cathedral, showing the Archibald Memorial Hyde Park
    Leura House, Leura, NSW
  • Professor Peter Spearritt collection no. 2(185)

    The School Paper,  A Royal Welcome
    Money box to commemorate the British royal visit to Australia, 1954
    Glass replica diamond and emerald wattle arrangement brooch
    The Princess of Wales Fashion Handbook

    The Professor Peter Spearritt collection No. 2 is divided into four categories; British Royal Family memorabilia, Australian Republic Movement material, T-shirts with Indigenous motifs and anti-logging material. The British Royal Family memorabilia category predominantly relates to Queen Elizabeth II's 1954 tour of Australia. The items were specifically collected by the vendor for the 1993 exhibition entitled Australians and the Monarchy. The Australian Republic Movement material was also featured in this exhibition. The Indigenous motifs T-shirts and the anti-logging material were collected for the 1992 exhibition Lie of the Land. Both exhibitions were jointly created by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. Professor Spearritt was the head curator of both exhibitions.

  • Ruby Lee collection(134)

    Embroidered pocket from Australian Women's Cricket Team blazer worn by Ruby Lee, 1934-1935, sewn onto green woollen jacket
    Six women playing cricket
    Drawing of Ruby Monaghan and Hazel Pritchard
    Handwritten note
  • Edmund Dicks collection(4)

    Plaster cast of bust of Oliver Nilsen, former radio broadcaster, electrical engineer, and Lord Mayor of Melbourne by Edmund Joel Dicks
    Plaster bust ofTruganini by Edmund Joel Dicks
    Plaster plaque of Truganini
    Plaster plaque of William Lanney [King Bill]

    The Edmund Dicks Collection comprises a plaster bust of Truganini (1812- 1876), two plaster low relief sculptures in a wood frame of Truganini and William Lanney (1834-1869), and a plaster bust, Oliver J Nilsen CBE (1884-1977). The sculptures are excellent examples of veristic art associated with portrait sculpture produced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. They were created by the donor's father Edmund J Dicks, in the 1930s and 1940s. Truganini and William Lanney lived in Tasmania in the colonial era where they associated closely with the white settlers. They both actively worked for the advancement of the Indigenous people in Tasmania and were erroneously considered the last man and woman of their race. This collection would help fill a significant gap in the National Historical Collection for exhibition material pertaining to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania, and their history.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Sandstorm approaching from beyond Lake Killalpaninna, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1919
    Glass plate negative - Crown Point, very near the Finke River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
    Glass plate negative - Rock paintings, Forrest River, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Glass plate negative - Blue waterlilies (Nymphaea nouchali) in billabong, Barker Gorge, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from James Keen
    Convict love token from John, 1836
    Convict love token from John Roulston, 1846
    Convict love token from Thomas Harris, 1841

    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.

  • Benny Zable collection no. 2(137)

    Letter from Benny Zable to the Organisers of ANZART
    Letter from Benny Zable to the Organisers of ANZART, 1985
    First Roxby Blockade 1983 Outside the Mine Shaft

    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'.