National Museum of Australia

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The National Historical Collection

"At the core of the Museum and its exhibitions is the National Historical Collection, nearly 200,000 objects representing Australia's history and cultural heritage.

When the Museum was established in 1980, it inherited a disparate collection mainly featuring horse-drawn vehicles and a few cars. Since then, Museum curators have actively gathered objects for the collection. Some have been donated, some purchased, and some inherited from former collecting bodies such as the Australian Institute of Anatomy (the preserved wet specimens collection, including the heart of racehorse Phar Lap) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (Aboriginal art collection).

At different times, special emphasis has been given to acquiring particular objects. The Museum now has the world's largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, with more than 1,600 works by numerous artists from throughout Australia. There are also 95,000 Aboriginal stone artefacts from surface sites found all over Australia."

Source: National Museum of Australia,

Quilts in the collection

The Museum has a number of quilts in its collection, including a rabbit-skin rug and quilt entitled 'Farm Life', stitched by Nettie Huppatz, which won first prize at the Adelaide Show in 1932. The Museum also features a very large-scale collective embroidery, entitled The Crimson Thread of Kinship, on its website.



Quilt details,

Crimson Thread of Kinship,

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