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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Ronald L Gale Masonic collection no. 1(248)

    Pair of cufflinks with masonic temple and compass decoration
    Freemason's preceptor sword, scabbard and belt
    Masonic - Mark Master jewel

    The Ronald L Gale Freemasonry Collection comprises the masonic regalia of three members of the Gale family, plus male clothing and female outfits that were worn at public Freemasonry functions. The additon of two jewels marking significant milestones in Ron Gale's life as a mason extends the collection. The first jewel celebrates his fifty-year association with freemasonry whilst the second represents his term as an elected Junior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales.

    Six men from four generations of the Gale family have been Freemasons, starting with Arthur Percival Gale's initiation in 1910. His grandson Ron was initiated in 1951, at a time when membership of the craft was at a peak. Ron's distinguished life in the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales, saw him occupy several senior officers culminating in his election as Junior Grand Warden in 1978. He was also a member of the committee that opened the new Sydney Masonic Centre in 1979.

  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(4603)

    Child's drawing
    Child's drawing
    Child's drawing by Eileen James, St Michael's School, Palm Island QLD
    Child's drawing by Ernest, Tabulam Primary School NSW
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection no. 2(37)

    Glass Trophy with wooden base  - Prime Minister's XI against  ATSIC XI
    Woven basket by Dorothy Dullman
    Photo of first meeting of NAC, 13 December 1973
    Original document Flag Act Proclamation of Aboriginal flag

    The collection is comprised of 35 objects including prints, photographs, woven materials, a cricket trophy and other items. The ATSIAA 2 collection is an adjunct to the original, much larger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection, (ATSIAA), collected between 1967 and 2005 by employees of a number of Indigenous government bodies. The larger collection is comprised of 2313 objects. The material in the current collection did not appear on the original inventory and was not stored with the original items. The objects were located in a storeroom within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in 2010. It is however, indisputably linked to the original ATSIAA collection. All the items are in good or reasonable condition.

    The collection is significant as it complements the original collection and fills geographical and stylistic gaps in the NMA's collection of cultural material relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It also includes some provenanced objects that may prove useful in documenting some of the existing ATSIAA material. The accrual of these two collections has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels. The collections span the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the ATSIAA collection 2 is also significant, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Mary Nicholson collection no. 1(42)

    Pride of Australia
    Joh Operating TV Camera
    ALP Election Launch at Opera House
  • Balarinji Art collection no. 2(409)

    Nalanji Dreaming
    Fish detail
    Grey and blue dot painting
    Rainbow snake dreaming

    The collection comprises 409 individual art works, predominantly gouache on paper, created by the Balarinji design studio. The works were created by John and Ros Moriarty and various artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who were part of the Balarinji team. This collection augments the collection purchased by the Museum in 2009, which contains the primary source material for many of Balarinji?s influential designs. This collection is also related to the Balarinji Business and Design Archive which was gifted to the Museum in 2009.

    Balarinji is the design label for the Jumbana Pty Ltd, a company co-owned by John Moriarty (Chairman) and Ros Moriarty, the first Indigenous-owned company to present the work of Aboriginal designers using their own iconocgraphy in culturally appropriate applications. Items in this collection reveal varied and particular designs that derive from many different and identifiable cultural areas across Australia. From its inception in 1983, Balarinji developed into a highly successful Australian design label sought after by Australian and international companies in commerce and the arts, executing commissions in both the public and private sectors. John Moriarty and Ros Moriarty were both recognised in 2014 for their contribution to Australian design by the Design Institute of Australia and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  • Helen Eager and Christopher Hodges collection no. 2(43)

    Awelye painting by Emily Kame Kngwarreye
    Awelye by Ada Bird Petyarre
    Body paint and ceremonial dancing stick by Mavis Petyarre
    Awelye- panel 4 by Gloria Petyarre

    This collection consists of works made during the 1990s by artists at the Ngkawenyerre camp in the Utopia homelands, NT. They are varied in size and media, and in good condition. All works refer to aspects of the 'Awelye' ceremony and feature women's body paint designs. The associated ceremonies are an integral part of community life and the 'Awelye' is performed by women to ensure the fertility of the land, spiritual and physical well being and social harmony.

    Aboriginal people of the Utopia region have a strong tradition of mark making in a range of media and their work is well represented in museum and art gallery collections in Australia and overseas. These works, collected in the 1990s, are seminal examples that represent the early transference of ceremonial design from traditional forms and methods of painting to portable two dimensional surfaces for outside audiences. They are historically significant examples of the use of introduced tools and materials such as acrylic paint on canvas and papier mache and wire. The papier mache figures were an experimental form, of which few examples now exist.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7624)

    His Private Secretary
    Zuiderzee Club. Red Cross Fete, 1922
    Postcard of Brickfield Hill (George Street), Sydney
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(1114)

    Weapon - Boomerang
    Weapon - Boomerang
    Shell necklace
    Weapon - Boomerang