The core of the collection from Australia consists of sets acquired in the period from the second half of the 19th century to World War I. It holds mostly everyday objects from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, but there are also some examples of aboriginal art. The most significant collectors from this period are Jiří Daneš and Josef Ladislav Eben. A large set from the 1960s came into existence thanks to Stanislav Novotný's research in Arnhem Land. Among the collections from Melanesia are items documenting the cultural diversity of New Guinea, and also intriguing artefacts from New Ireland, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. Among the contributing collectors are Enrique Stanko, Vráz, the sailors Eduard Kittel, Václav Stejskal and Karel von Adamovic, and, once again, Jiří Daneš. The collection also holds objects from Polynesia and Micronesia, showing a remarkable and ingenious use of materials, the availability of which was often very limited on the islands. The items gathered among the Maori people of New Zealand by the acclaimed painter Bohumir Lindauer (and brought by the no less distinguished teacher and traveller, Josef Kořenský) make a superb collection. In addition to ethnographic objects, the National Museum owns two of Lindauer’s portraits of Maori people, the only ones found in public collections in the Czech Republic.
Collection of non-European ethnography – Australia and Oceania
The collections from Australia and Oceania contain both objects of everyday use and examples of contemporary arts and crafts.