Posts written by Chelsea Nichols

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting he found.  A rare early twentieth… Read more »

Forceps delivery

John Foster. Untitled – from the 'Forceps Delivery' series. 1978. Lithograph on paper. Purchased 2015. Te Papa (2015-0026-2)

The late American writer Christopher Largen once said: “Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.” If that is so, why has childbirth been such an unusual subject for modern and contemporary artists? Motherhood is a relatively common subject in Western Art, from depictions of the… Read more »

Henry Tonks: Two clean babies reunited

Oil painting entitled 'After the bath' by Henry Tonks

Late last year, Te Papa got an exciting new acquisition for its international art collection: Henry Tonks’ After the bath (1910-11). This sweet Edwardian painting depicts a woman in a red dress holding a freshly-bathed baby on her lap, surrounded by three little girls. The painting is full of wonderful little details, like the impish child putting on… Read more »

Rita Angus: The devil is in the detail

Surrealist painting by Rita Angus

Around 1945, Rita Angus painted a man sitting in an armchair, next to a table of books and a bunch of flowers. Nothing too strange so far, right? Except that there is a devil in a long purple robe creeping up behind him. Not to mention the huge spider crawling on the books, or the… Read more »

Goblins in the gallery

Frank Craig, Goblin market, 1911

We have been busy installing Season 3 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 of Te Papa, which will open to the public on August 23rd. But the exhibitions team haven’t been alone during the installation…there are also goblins in the gallery. Luckily, these mischievous goblins haven’t been running through the galleries… Read more »