Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Octagonal white linen doily embroidered with a motif of purple and pink lilies

2000.0009.0021

Octagonal white linen doily embroidered with a motif of purple and pink lilies

Object information

Physical description

Octagonal white linen doily embroidered with a motif of purple and pink lilies. The foliage is in three shades of green. Other colours incorporated in the design are black, yellow and brown. The stiches used are predominantly satin and stem. The edge has been hand crocheted in chain stich.

Statement of significance

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.

Object information

Back to top