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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    Fibre basket by Janice Nixon, 2008
    Fibre basket by Lily Long, 2008
    Fibre basket by Rosie Williams, 2008
    'Kumpupirntily Cannibal Story' by Billy Atkins, 2008

    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..

  • Scott Rainbow collection(81)

    Whip handle with horse hoof-shaped base and metal detail on shaft
    Boomerang with pointed ends and incised with alternating concentric circle design, from Queensland
    Incised boomerang featuring kangaroo and emu amongst trees in centre, from QLD
    Plaited leather whip with carved, lacquered timber handle

    This collection consists of eighty one decorated objects including boomerangs, clubs, scrimshaw, stock whip handles, shields and walking sticks. The majority of the objects are associated with Aboriginal missions during the late nineteenth to mid twentieth centuries, in particular the Barambah/ Cherbourg mission (QLD), La Perouse (NSW), Palm Island (QLD), and Lake Tyers (VIC). Various locations in South Australia are also included.

    From the late nineteenth century Aboriginal people in Eastern Australia created a range of artefacts decorated with incised, carved, painted and pokerworked motifs, which documented their experiences of interaction with European settlers. 'Non-traditional' designs emerged which were specific to individual missions - such as the cross hatching and playing card iconography characteristic of Cherbourg and the incised flora and fauna motifs characteristic of La Perouse. Many of the objects in this collection reflect these new designs, and depict the changing circumstances brought about by European settlement as well as continuing links to land and traditional cultural practices. When used as trade items, these objects quickly became sought after, and as production increased they found a market as tourist souvenirs. This collection brings together a range of such objects from several key sites, including two of the most important east coast mission stations, Cherbourg and La Perouse. It also includes a number of hybrid objects, such as a tin yandi and a nail club, which combine tradition forms and functions with non-traditional materials. This collection is significant for including types of objects not well represented in existing museum collections, and for representing the range of objects being made by Indigenous people in Eastern Australia during this period, particular those living on missions.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Bark painting depicting the tail of the whale Daymirri, by Wandjuk Marika, Yirrkala, 1964, with a paddle over his head
    Bark painting depicting designs from both Arnhem Land moieties by Djunmal, Milingimbi, 1966
    Bark painting 'The butterflies who sustain the 'shades' with nectar' by Binyinyuwuy, Milingimbi, 1967
    Narra ceremony.
  • Bill Reid - John Cawte collection(47)

    Emu egg carved with images of a face, basket, boomerangs and shield motifs by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with image of a man's face and animals by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with an image of a man's face and native Australian animals by Bill Reid, 1990
    Emu egg carved with image of a face by Bill Reid

    The Bill Reid - John Cawte Collection comprises a series of emu eggs carved by William 'Bill' Reid (1917 -1993), a renowned Gamilaraay artist from northern-central NSW. The collection contains sixteen emu eggs - fourteen carved, one partly carved and one uncarved. They feature representations of Truganinni, Mum Shirl, the Ella brothers, Bill Reid, Albert Namatjiria and Tony Mundine, Alva Reid - Bill Reid's daughter, as well as John Cawte and Betty Watts (John Cawte's wife).
    The collection also includes Reid's innovative system for internally illuminating each carved egg, consisting of a light stand on a circular cork board with a plastic batten holder and cord, sixteen plastic batten holders, sixteen switch cases, sixteen "push button or bell press" mechanisms, a tungsten 15 watt clear light bulb, seventeen plastic "Café HAG" coffee jar lids.

    The collection is significant as constituting a rare series of representations of prominent Indigenous people and other figures undertaken by a renowned Aboriginal artist. As a set of carved emu eggs it is also an important contribution to the National Museum's collection of 20th century Indigenous craft objects. The collection compliments an existing NHC collection of six carved eggs depicting prominent Indigenous figures also carved by Reid.

  • Sir Hubert Opperman collection no. 2(216)

    Paris - Brest - Paris, 1891-1991 [cycling]
    Collector's silver-plated teaspoon bearing figure of cyclist
    Beret
    Pair of cufflinks

    The Sir Hubert Opperman Collection No. 2, comprises 181 objects relating to his cycling, political and RAAF careers. Items of note include a silver tray presented to him for duties as Immigration Minister in 1966; Knights Bachelor Medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1968; and a Basque Beret worn when he was awarded the Gold Medal of Paris in 1991 by Jacques Chirac.

    Sir Hubert Opperman, or 'Oppy' has he was affectionately known, became a household name in the 1920s and 1930s as a result of his cycling achievements. He set 101 state, national and world records and was the public face of Malvern Star Bicycle Company. From 1949 to1972, Opperman pursued a career in politics, holding several portfolios for the Liberal party, and became Australia's first High Commissioner to Malta in 1966. He was knighted in1968 and retired from politics in 1972. Sir Hubert Opperman died in 1996 at the aged of 92.

  • Frederick Edmunds collection(24)

    Black and white photograph - Edgar Percival and Douglas Corrigan at Luton 1937.
    Black and white photograph - Edgar Percival between two assistants
    Documents regarding EW Percival eg letters correspondence, magazines and journals.
    Care and maintenance manual for the Gipsy Queen 2.

    The Frederick Edmunds collection consists of a Percival Proctor aircraft, photograph album, and associated aircraft maintenance manuals and log books.

    During the Second World War, the Percival Aircraft Company developed a military version of the company's most successful aircraft the Gull, named the Proctor, which was adopted as a trainer aircraft for the RAF. The MuseumÂ?s Percival Proctor Aircraft MK1, VH-FEP, is an all wood construction, has a wing span of 39.5ft and is powered by a 210hp Gipsy Queen Series II engine. VH-FEP was manufactured in 1942 for the RAF and was used as a trainer until 1946 before being transferred to disposals. John Dyer, a former RAAF pilot bought the aircraft and flew it to Australia, where he sold to George Lewis of Kalgoorlie, proprietor of Goldfields Airways, in 1947. The Proctor was restored to flying standard in 1953, and Lewis made the aircraft available to the Royal Flying Doctor Service carrying out numerous mercy flights for injured miners, station workers, pastoralists and their families. The aircraft changed hands several times, eventually becoming a total wreck and languishing in a disused hangar in Perth until 1978 when Frederick Edmunds and his partner became joint owners. Edmunds spent the following five years (over 3000 hours) and $35,000 restoring the aircraft, replacing the panelling of its wooden fuselage and rebuilding the engine. The restoration process is recorded in the accompanying photograph album.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Wildflowers quilt
    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Beach  and a drawing of a woman
    Brisbane showing Queensland Gunboat
    Joobaitch 'An old West Australian Aboriginal of the Guildford Tribe'
    Native Bear and Aboriginal Lighting a Fire
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