Spotlight on The Yandall Sisters, Samoan doo-wop superstars

  • L to R: Pauline, Adele and Mary.  Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYsVakylfBI
  • CA001147/013/0001/0004; Sweet Soul Music Costume Design Drawings
  • CA001147/013/0001/0010; Sweet Soul Music Costume Design Drawings
  • Yandall 2

In a nod to Samoan Language Week – which started on Sunday and runs through to Saturday – and to round off New Zealand Music Month, Curator Pacific Cultures Rachel Yates put the spotlight on the Yandall Sisters, who ruled the New Zealand ’70s music scene. Do you like good music? That sweet soul music? If you answered ‘yeah,… Read more »

Are you a Dürer adorer?

  • Jesus_among_the_Doctors_-_Google_Art_Project
  • Durer_selfportrait 1500
  • Durer 4 horsemen
  • durer-self-portrait-at-the-age-of-thirteen

Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, introduces us to one of his all-time favourite artists, Albrecht Dürer, who is represented by over 40 works in Te Papa’s collection. He explains why Dürer is brilliant, fun, and highly relevant today. To admire or to like? In art history, there are plenty of artists that you… Read more »

Myrtle rust: why local New Zealand species are under threat

Myrtle rust is characterised by yellow pustules. Photo by Scot Nelson.

Sadly, the discovery of more sites in New Zealand infected with myrtle rust suggests that it is here to stay. Originally from South America, myrtle rust invaded Australia in 2010 and rapidly spread.  Botanist Lara Shepherd discusses what Australian scientists have discovered about myrtle rust over the last seven years. What does myrtle rust infect?… Read more »

New Zealand Music Month: The legacy of Bob Marley

  • O.018215; A Certain Kind of Past - Glade House, Auckland; 1983-1984; Browning, Ken.  (Photographic image of an unidentified young man - with tattoos on his left arm - as seen in his bedroom, a number of posters adorn the back wall including one of Bob Marley)
  • O.018215; A Certain Kind of Past - Glade House, Auckland; 1983-1984; Browning, Ken. (Photographic image of an unidentified young man - with tattoos on his left arm - as seen in his bedroom, a number of posters adorn the back wall including one of Bob Marley)
  • GH024645; Poster, 'Those cops are heading towards us!!'; early 1980s; Wellington Media Collective. (One badge says Bob Marley, one of the woman has dreadlocks and the colour combination of red, gold and green is present)
  • Toni (left) and Brian Fonoti in London on their way to Ethiopia. 1988.  Credit: Toni Fonoti collection.  Retrieved from http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/toni-fonoti/image/10868

It’s New Zealand Music Month! Rachel Yates, Curator Pacific Cultures, looks at the influence of Bob Marley on the musical landscape of New Zealand. Since 2001, driven by the New Zealand Music Commission, the month of May has been dedicated to the promotion and celebration of local New Zealand artists and music. As part of… Read more »

The art of ako: Teaching kids to teach kids to use virtual reality

Hīnātore during a virtual reality game design session, 2017. Te Papa

Learning innovation specialist Ewan MacLeod looks at how the Māori concept of ako guides pedagogy inside a 21st century learning lab. I heard Matt Richards, Senior Learning Advisor at Te Papa, first describe ako and it sent my mind racing to two unique experiences as I tried to understand what it was. The first experience… Read more »

Collecting Challenging Histories – the ‘Manga Kahu’/‘Maunga Kahu’ (Black Power) T-shirt

T-shirt, ‘Maunga Kahu’, September 2009, Whanganui, New Zealand, by Denis O’Reilly (Black Power). Gift of Denis O’Reilly, 2017. Te Papa (ME024195)

Today is International Museum Day. Mātauranga Māori senior curator Puawai Cairns considers this year’s theme – ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’ – through the ‘Maunga Kahu’ protest T-shirt. When I acquire material for the museum’s collection, there is an image in my head that I constantly refer to, to help me… Read more »

Appealing the lottery of death

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What would you do if your wife was expecting your first child and you were compulsorily called up for military service? James Dempsey faced this dilemma in January 1916. History curator Kirstie Ross shows how James, like thousands of New Zealand men who juggled the calls made by King and Country, work, and family, appealed his conscription…. Read more »

How science fiction is guiding Te Papa’s digital team

The author, Te Papa's Chief Digital Officer Melissa FIrth, and Neal Stevenson in Hīnātore, our learning lab, 2017. Te Papa

Hazel Bradshaw, part of Te Papa digital’s team, looks at how science fiction master Neal Stephenson’s work is informing ideas at Te Papa. Last week American author, Chief Futurist of Magic Leap, and game designer Neal Stephenson made a flying visit to Te Papa as part of Techweek. Some of you will know immediately know who he is and… Read more »

A new bird for New Zealand – Cox’s sandpiper

  • New Zealand’s first Cox’s sandpiper, Lake Ellesmere, November 2016. Photograph: Michael Ashbee, NZ Birds Online
  • Pectoral sandpiper. Photograph: Steve Attwood, NZ Birds Online
  • Curlew sandpiper. Photograph: Neil Fitzgerald, NZ Birds Online
  • Sharp-tailed sandpiper. Photograph: Tony Whitehead, NZ Birds Online

The latest addition to the New Zealand bird list is a legendary shorebird so rare that there are times when it is likely that none exist anywhere in the world. Bird expert Colin Miskelly introduces the Cox’s sandpiper. Sandpipers are small wading birds that separate people with a serious interest in bird identification from casual… Read more »

Research Librarian, Martin Lewis, explains why he’s been losing his marbles over marbling… One of the cool things about working in a 150 year old museum library is that you encounter amazing treasures and become obsessed about learning all you can about their construction, purpose or previous owners. One of my jobs is looking after the… Read more »