An action-packed Anzac week: WWI, live performances, arts and craft, and fashion

The forthcoming ‘Anzac week’ is going to be an action packed one for Te Papa, with a wide range of events on offer for both adult and family audiences that explores aspects of the First World War and beyond.

Family theatre – An Awfully Big Adventure

If you are looking for a family outing over Anzac Weekend, you might like to take An Awfully Big Adventure. Produced by Capital E, the play interrogates the impact of World War I on New Zealanders through the stories of two soldiers, song and play and is accessible for children aged 7 and up. Sessions run from Sunday 23 April 2017 to Tuesday 25 April 2017 11.30am–12.20pm.

An Awfully Big Adventure, 2014. Photograph by Stephen A’Court, courtesy of Capital E

On Anzac Day the award-winning New Zealand Youth Choir will also present a programme of local and international music especially selected for Anzac Day, 1.30-2pm and 3-3.30pm.

Myriad Faces of War symposium

Anzac Day also marks the launch of Myriad Faces of War, an international symposium which has attracted a wide range of scholars from around the world to Wellington. Te Papa is proud to be the venue and a supporter of the symposium, which focuses in on the year 1917 and its legacy, for the organisers argue:

‘1917 was a seminal year in the history of the modern world. The First World War stressed the livelihoods and resources of nations, states and societies – combatant and otherwise – with often direct and devastating impact. Key events influenced the outcome of the war or were in some way set in motion by the emotion and disruptive thinking that accompanied the cataclysmic experiences of 1917. Their legacies continue to be felt today in political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and technological spheres.’

Postcard, ’Souvenir de France’, 1917. Gift of the Chatfield family, 1936. Te Papa (CA000316/007/0001)

Public session

On Wednesday 26 April at 3.45–5.30pm members of the public are invited to attend a session featuring three leading Australasian historians.

Professor Peter Stanley, author of The Lost Boys of Anzac (2011), will chair a session with Professor Glynn Harper who is speaking on New Zealand and ‘The Catastrophic Year’ 1917, and Dr Monty Soutar on The Māori Effort at Home and Abroad.

The session will be followed by an introduction to the exhibition Gallipoli: the scale of our war by lead curator Kirstie Ross.

Untitled [Scene from the New Zealand (Mäori) Pioneer Battalion ’Hui Aroha’, Gisborne], May 1919, Gisborne. Photograph by James McDonald. Te Papa (MU000523/001/0001)

You can explore the symposium programme further on the Myriad Faces of War website.

A number of international historians attending the symposium have also kindly agreed to give public lectures on a wide variety of topics while they are here. Here is the run down.

Gorch Pieken on difficult histories – Monday 24 April 5–7pm

On Monday 24 April, Gorch Pieken from the ground-breaking Military History Museum in Dresden, which focuses on ‘the societal forces and human impulses that give birth to war and violence’ will present a 45-minute talk where he’ll share his experiences addressing ‘difficult histories’. A Q&A and refreshments will follow.

Michael Harcourt, a former history teacher at Wellington High School who received a 2015 Fulbright Scholarship to research culturally responsive teaching, will then lead a one-hour workshop which aims to support you in developing strategies and techniques to explore ‘difficult histories’ at work and in the classroom.

Dr Joseph McBrinn on the Arts & Crafts Movement in Ireland – Friday 28 April, 4.30pm

Dr Joseph McBrinn is a lecturer at Belfast School of Art at Ulster University in Ireland. He is presenting a paper at the Myriad of Faces of War symposium on this embroidered casket from Te Papa’s collection.

The casket was produced by the Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry in Britain and presented to the Dominion Museum in 1946 by Queen Mary, who was a supporter of the organisation.

Silk covered wooden casket/workbox embroidered in silk using black work technique. Made by the Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry, c. 1920. Gift of Her Majesty Queen Mary, 1946. Te Papa (PC000875)

We are delighted that he has agreed to present an additional public lecture on the Irish Arts & Crafts Movement following the symposium at 4.30pm on Friday 28 April.

S. Rosamond Praeger working on the decoration of the façade of the Thomas Andrews/Titanic Memorial Hall. Photo courtesy of Joseph McBrinn.

S. Rosamond Praeger working on the decoration of the façade of the Thomas Andrews/Titanic Memorial Hall. Photograph courtesy of Joseph McBrinn

In his beautifully illustrated lecture, Joseph McBrinn will look at some of the key centres of Arts and Crafts activity in Ireland, major monuments to Arts and Crafts ideas, such as the Thomas Andrews/Titanic Memorial Hall in Belfast, as well as key workshops such as Dun Emer, Cuala, An Túr Gloine and the Irish Decorative Art Association.

He will also consider the crucially important role played by women in this movement, including Lady Aberdeen, S. Rosamond Praeger (pictured above), and Mabel Annesley, a highly regarded wood engraver, who left Ireland for New Zealand at the outbreak of World War II, and whose work is represented in Te Papa’s collection.

Madelyn Shaw on ‘exoticism’ in fashion – Saturday 29 April, 11am

Madelyn Shaw is the Curator of Textiles at the National Museum of American history, Smithsonian Institution. She specialises in the exploration of American culture and history through textiles and dress.

SI Morocco plan: HR Mallinson & Co. exhibition plan sketch for 1931 donation to Smithsonian of “Morocco” series dress silks. Photograph courtesy of NMAH/Textiles Collection

At the Myriad Faces of War symposium she is co-presenting a paper with Dr Trish FitzSimons from Griffith University in Queensland, on ‘Australasian wool, American preparedness, British Dominion and the race or synthetics in 1917’. On Saturday 29 April at 11am, Madelyn will change tack and present a public lecture on ‘Exoticism’ in Fashion.

Madelyn is also giving lectures in Auckland, on High Flown Fashion: Women Pilots and the Selling of Aviation, 1909-39 (Saturday 22 April), and Dunedin (Sunday 30 April), once more on Exoticism, courtesy of the Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand.

Dr McBrinn and Madelyn Shaw’s lectures are presented in association with The Friends of Te Papa.

To book for any of the events above visit Te Papa’s Events page.

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