Posts written by Lissa Mitchell

Giving matters – David Carson-Parker (1932-2012)

One of the most generous ways museums acquire items for their collections is from individuals donating things they have made for the benefit of others. This is one way that unique material becomes available to the public and especially to researchers. It is in this spirit that David Carson-Parker, who died 21 October, donated many… Read more »

Laughing boy

It is not often I come across early photographs that capture pure joy like this one does. Too young to find the serious appeals of the photographer’s command to “keep still” anything other than funny, this infant boy’s laughter dominates the image and projects a good sense of fun about the activity of having one’s… Read more »

Water towers

Sometimes when I look at photographs, I start imagining the past. Details in the images trigger memories of people and places lost to time. These images of water towers take me back to my childhood in Invercargill, where the sight and purpose of the large tower, visible from most parts of the city, used to… Read more »

Don Binney 1940 – 2012

In the recent death of Don Binney New Zealand art has lost a major contributor to its diverse tradition of landscape painting.  Binney began painting his stylized images of birds in the landscape in the early 1960s.  These unique and startling images quickly established his reputation.  The ‘oversized’ birds combined a personal take on hard-edged… Read more »

Lili’s gift

“Dear friends, may this beautiful instrument bring you happiness and inspiration. All my love, Lili Kraus, London, Christmas 1959.” So read the handwritten inscription in the piano Michael Parekowhai obtained for On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer currently on display at Te Papa. In the museum’s collection there are photographs of Lili taken around 1946/47 by two different… Read more »

Unsolved mysteries

Perhaps you know where some of the photographs below were taken?  If you can help, please note the number related to each image with your comment below. Click on the images to enable enlargement. 1) Its summer here… 2) North Island wharf 3) Is it Otago harbour? And if so, what is the view of?… Read more »

Lee-Johnson’s London

Between 1930 and 1938 New Zealand artist Eric Lee-Johnson, and his young family, lived in London while he studied art and experimented with modernist ways of representing the world and making photographs. Lee-Johnson’s photography was a bit of a secret as his primary artistic focus was painting but the photographs he took were remarkably good. These appealing… Read more »

Of cats and people

A while back I posted Marion Queenie Kirker’s image of a ‘nodding cat’. Recently the rest of her negatives were scanned and uploaded to the museum’s database. One of the things I enjoy about working in the museum is helping to make images like this available to be seen. There are no prints from these negatives… Read more »

Lost houses

Do these houses still exist?  If you know anything about them (especially a street or road address) please note the number with your comment – thanks! 1) ‘Elvington’ in Oamaru   2) Farmhouse in the Manawatu area   3) Cottage possibly in Wellington   4) Country residence in Manawatu?    5) ‘St Kilda’ in Oamaru… Read more »