What's New | Indonesian Textile Treasures from National Gallery of Australia


Royal Horse Blanket | Belu
© National Gallery of Australia




Textile Masterworks from Flores, Lampung, and West Papua


Art of the Ancestors welcomes four new exquisite textiles from National Gallery of Australia’s Indonesian Textiles Collection. These images will be included in our Summer 2019 gallery update.


Woman's Ceremonial Skirt | Lawo Buto | Ngada People
Late 19th Century| Bajawa District, Flores, Indonesia
Cotton, Natural Dyes, Beads, Shell, Mother of Pearl Discs, Warp Ikat, Bead-Work, Applique
179.0 (h) x 74.0 (w) cm
Purchased 1981
National Gallery of Australia | 1981.1141

Ceremonial Hanging | Palepai Maju | Paminggir People
19th Century | Kayuagung District, Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Split Rattan, Cotton, Beads, Applique, Bead-Work
29.0 (h) x 130.0 (w) cm
Acquired through gift and purchase from the Collection of Robert J Holmgren and Anita E Spertus, New York 2000
National Gallery of Australia | 2000.798

Woman's Dance Apron
Early 20th Century | Doreri District, West Papua, Indonesia
Beads, Fibre Thread, Commercial Cotton Cloth, Bead-Work
52.0 (h) x 58.0 (w) cm
Purchased 1986
National Gallery of Australia | 1986.2456

Ceremonial Cloth | Abung People
c.1900 | Kota Bumi, Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Bark Cloth, Cotton, Silk, Dyes, Gold Thread, Mirror Pieces, Embroidery, Couching, Applique
66.7 (h) x 67.5 (w) cm
Purchased 1980
National Gallery of Australia | 1980.1629


The National Gallery of Australia holds one of the richest public collections of Indonesian textiles in the world. Now, thanks to the generous assistance of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the extensive collection of over 1200 works is accessible to scholars, researchers and textile enthusiasts across the globe.

The National Gallery of Australia owes its careful selectivity and curation, in no small measure, to the dedicated passion of former curator Robyn Maxwell. This collection encompasses a broad geographic sweep of the archipelago and includes pieces formerly from the Holmgren Spertus, Alpert, and Abbott collections. 


Art of the Ancestors invites you to explore the important books on the textile holdings of the National Gallery of Australia authored by Robyn Maxwell including Sari to Sarong: Five Hundred Years of Indian and Indonesian Textile Exchange and Textiles of Southeast Asia: Tradition, Trade, and Transformation.