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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Herbert Browne collection(240)

    School report Herbert Browne 1904 and an 'Honourable Mention' card
    WAX BASE. Card with formulae for theatrical cosmetics
    Scene from JC Williamson's production of 'Bitter Sweet' 1932

    The Herbert Browne collection consists of personal items belonging to Herbert Browne, an English-born musical theatre performer who established himself as the leading tenor with Australia's JC Williamson's Company in the period between the two world wars. The collection comprises Aboriginal and oriental objects, photographs, theatrical and biographical notes, theatre programs, news-clippings, correspondence, gramophone recordings, cosmetics and accessories from Browne's theatrical make-up business.

    Herbert Browne's life in Australia from the age of twenty six reads like a history of Australian popular entertainment, with its ups and downs, its preoccupations and its relationship to wider trends in aesthetics and material culture in Australian life. Browne's interests in objects were tethered to the entertainment industry and the wider social world in which he operated. Browne's travels across the Nullabor with JC Williamson's found expression through his collections of Aboriginal artefacts, his films and photograph albums. His Aboriginal objects and associated images provide rare glimpses into the way urban Australians encountered remote Aboriginal culture. They also document his relationship with the legendary Daisy Bates, from whom he acquired artefacts. Browne's other main collecting interest was with oriental objects which echoed stage roles he played in musical theatre productions. Browne's oriental and Aboriginal objects are complementary in illustrating the way respective cultures were represented in early-mid twentieth century domestic collections. The cultural items he acquired and their incorporation into the domestic sphere of the Australian home provide insights into the way Australians of that period represented the colonised world. These objects are strongly augmented by objects related to his theatrical make-up business which capture the role of cosmetics in transforming identity in theatrical performances by himself and others. The accompanying photographic and paper-based materials document his life in the theatre, his relationship with other theatrical identities and his work at the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

  • Ana and Martin Kovacic collection(1)

    Lamp crafted from postcards featuring colour photographic views of Yugoslavia
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3506)

    'Greetings from Yass', 22 December 1909
    Ladies dyed pink satin right tango shoe, with a clear cut bead at the centre top
    Letter from Colonial Secretary's Office to George Ernest Faithfull, 10 March 1876, regarding the bushranger medal
    Handwritten recipe for pound cake

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7625)

    Scenes - Australian Coast
    Postcard featuring a busy tram
  • Fred Daly collection(481)

    Black and white photograph of Hyang Kuo-Shu shaking hands with an unidentified lady behind a table, 1963
    Fred Daly
    Photograph of a group in evening wear seated around a dinner table
    Black and white photograph of the Brandenburg Gate taken from the west, 1961
  • Bob Brown collection no. 1(841)

    Small pebble from Lake Pedder, referred to as a Pedder Penny
    Pebble from Lake Pedder, referred to as a Pedder Penny
    Rescue heritage - Brown
    Pebble from Lake Pedder, referred to as a Pedder Penny

    This collection of approximately 3000 items consists of ephemera, documents and personal artefacts relates to the life and work of Senator (Bob) Robert James Brown, one of Australia's most prominent conservationists and environmental activists. The collection is particularly strong in relation to ephemera from the 'Save the Franklin' campaign of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but also includes some pro-dam ephemera that shows the opposition's point of view. Material from the earlier 'Save Lake Pedder' campaign is also well represented.

    Dr Bob Brown, a medical doctor, rose to prominence in the late 1970s after taking on the directorship of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society (TWS) and becoming one of Australia's most outspoken and high profile opponents of the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission's plans to flood the Gordon and Franklin Rivers in Tasmania's largely untamed southwest. Building on the impetus of earlier campaigns against the flooding of Lake Pedder, the TWS was spectacularly successful in galvanising national public opinion against the Gordon and Franklin dam proposal. This reached its zenith with the 'No Dams' campaign that commenced in 1981 and culminated in the July 1983 decision by the High Court of Australia against the construction of the dam. This decision also had broader political and constitutional ramifications because it was seen by some as an undermining of state rights, while others saw it as a milestone in national conservation awareness that underscored the power of environmental issues in national politics.

    As a result of his very public efforts to preserve Australia's natural heritage Dr Bob Brown was made Australian of the Year in 1983, and received the UNEP Global 500 Award 1987, and the Goldman Environmental Prize USA 1990. He was elected as an independent to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1983 and has served as a federal senator for the Australian Greens since 1996.

  • Vane Lindesay collection no. 1(71)

    Cartoon depicting a skier sighting a hill-top tower
    Letter from Maurice Horn, thanking Vane Lindesay for the 20 entries he contributed to the
    Biography of cartoonist Joe Jonsson
    Fifty Years of Australian Cartooning
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(4603)

    Child's drawing
    Bark painting by Bardayal Nadjamerrek depicting a  depicting nakidjkidj spirit with spearthrower, standing beside a lakberd, 1970
    Child's drawing Marrambi's story
    Child's drawing