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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The Railway Accident at Sunshine. April 20. 1908. over 40 lives lost
    Men on the steps of a building, with a car in the foreground on the left
    The DC4 Skymaster, Australian National Airways
    King Billy & Family at Home
  • Erin Craig collection(2)

    Disembarkation tag worn by Erin Craig when arriving in San Francisco on the SS 'Lurline' in 1946
    Stuffed toy pig prize won by Erin Craig for having the reddest hair of children aboard SS Lurline, 1946

    The Erin Craig Collection consists of a red and white spotted cotton toy pig missing its tail and right ear. The toy pig belonged to Erin Craig the daughter of Australian war bride Iris Adams and James (Jim) Craig who was a Master Sergeant in the US Army during World War Two. Erin received the pig as a prize during her and her mother's voyage to the U.S. to meet her father in 1946. The collection also contains a debarkation tag which Erin wore on her arrival in San Fransisco in 1946.

    Between 1942 and 1946 almost 1 million US servicemen were stationed in or visited Australia, although there was never over 200 000 at any one time. The social impact of the temporary migration in certain places, such as Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and some regional areas, was massive. US troops were initially seen as the saviours of Australia and the Australian public was encouraged to open their hearts to troops stationed or on leave in Australia. One consequence of this influx of American servicemen was that personal and romantic relationships were formed. In total around 12 000 - 15 000 Australian women married American GIs with about 10 000 leaving Australia for America.

  • 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.

  • Behind the Lines 2007 collection(12)

    Saint Kevin
    The details'll be along later
    Brown warrior

    The Behind the Lines 2007 collection consists of 68 political cartoons collected under the auspices of the National Museum of Australia's 2005-2007 Political cartooning targeted collecting project and the Behind the Lines 2007 political cartooning exhibition. There are 52 different artists represented in the collection including Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson, Cathy Wilcox, Mark Knight, Sean Leahy, Bruce Petty, Dean Alston and Ward O'Neill.

    The cartoons provide a satirical record of the major events and personalities in Australian politics in 2007. Major topics addressed within the collection include issues such as citizenship testing, the APEC summit, the rise of Kevin Rudd, the continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Irag and an election year in which the Labour party regained the Federal Leadership. Taken together the collection provides a diverse visual archive of Australian political events in 2007 and demonstrates the quality of Australian political cartooning and illustration.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Minyipuru' by Rita Simpson, Rosie Williams and Dulcie Gibbs, 2007
    'Witji Rock Holes' by Jane Gimme, 2007
    Fibre basket by Thelma Judson, 2008
    'Kumpupirntily' by Jakayu Biljabu and Dadda Samson, 2007

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Royal Melbroune Centenary Show, 1948 for first prize for a snow white play apron
    Certificate awarded at the Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society 82nd Annual Show, 1960  for second prize for a nasturtium luncheon set of table linen
    Certificate awarded at the Kerang District Agricultural Society 84th Annual Show, 1968 for first prize for an appliqued doily
    Third Prize awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson for 'Best Handworked Table Centre or Tray Cloth' at the 1971 Broken Hill Show
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies 24/02/1978 collection(1)

    Bark painting depicting a red snake coiled over a large white male kangaroo
  • Alex and Paddy Stitt collection(14)

    Life. Be in it comic strip featuring Norm, 904
    Life. Be in it. Exercisements
    Life. Be in it poster: Every little bit helps!

    The Alex and Stitt collection comprises a number of objects relating to the Life. Be In It public health campaign of the late 1970s and 1980s. In the collection are one T-shirt bearing the Life. Be In It logo, worn by Alex Stitt, the animator of the original Life. Be In It campaign, T-shirt bearing the Life. Be In It logo, produced in association with World Cricket series, three original Norm comic strips, drawn by Alex Stitt, seven Life. Be In It posters promoting exercise and a healthy life, one Life. Be In It book describing games to play, one Life. Be In It book titled 'Walkies' detailing walks in Victoria where pets can be taken.

    The Life. Be In It public health campaign was initiated by the Victorian state government in 1975 and then taken up by the Federal government in 1978 and introduced throughout Australia. Life. Be In It aimed to educate the Australian public about exercise in a fun and non-threatening manner, making it part of everyday routine. The campaign was developed by the advertising group Monahan Dayman Adams and promoted through community announcements on television, cartoons in newspapers and also through community groups. Life. Be In It achieved a 94% recognition rate in 1984 and represents and important collaboration between government an advertising in creating awareness about the importance of public health.