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National Museum of Australia

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Object information

Physical description

Certificate on buff coloured paper, mounted on white cardboard. A banner across the top of the certificate reads "CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION". Festoons of flowers and fruit hang from the banner. Text in the centre of the certificate reads "Certificate of Merit / AWARDED TO / Miss M. J. Huppatz / FOR / Quilt, Wild Flower...". The text is surrounded by an oval decorative border. On either side of the border are the figures of a man and woman representing art and industry. The figures are standing on a platform in the middle of which is text that reads "TO CELEBRATE / THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY / OF THE / FOUNDATION OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. / SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF MANUFACTURES". The artwork on the certificate is by Albert V. Adlam.

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

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