Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Coat hanger that stored fairy dress costume from 1941


Coat hanger that stored fairy dress costume from 1941

Object information

Physical description

A wooden, shallow crescent shaped coathanger with glossy cream coloured paint. It has a metal hook through the centre top which has some paint on it.

Statement of significance

The Enid McLean collection consists of one fairy dress costume with accompanying silver cup trophy and photograph all dating from 1941.

This costume was worn by the donor when she was four years old as part of a competition at her kindergarten in 1941 for which she won second prize. The presence of fairies in Australian folklore, imaginative play and popular culture reveals our society's links to European and United Kingdom animistic spiritualism and is part of our Western cultural heritage. Imaginative play continues to be seen as an important part of childhood development. The importance of play is itself a result of the kindergarten movement which reached Australia by the end of the 19th century and is now widely accepted in education curricula.

Object information

Back to top