Posts written by Mark Stocker

Wenceslaus Hollar: etching the 17th century

Etching - 17th century

Hollar vs. Lindauer So, you think Gottfried Lindauer is the most significant Czech artist in Te Papa’s collection? Wrong, certainly in terms of world fame, quantity and arguably in quality too! In Collections Online, Lindauer is trounced 68-21 by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–77), whilst in our new Ngā Toi exhibition, Splendour, there are six Hollars alone… Read more »

Creating something Shakespearean: Raymond Boyce and the Globe hangings

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  • Adonis cartoon
  • Venus cartoon

Do you support hangings? I certainly do if we are discussing the four embroidered wall hangings at Shakespeare’s Globe in London’s Bankside, designed by Wellington artist Raymond Boyce and made by over 400 women from North Shore to Southland in 1991. They are Aotearoa New Zealand’s proud gift to Shakespeare’s and a handsome testament to the important place… Read more »

One motif, thirty years of exploration: Jim Geddes on Gordon Walters

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Te Papa’s touring exhibition, Gordon Walters: Koru, is currently being hosted at the Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore (23 April to 6 June), a splendid venue which is affectionately known as the ‘Goreggenheim’! Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, talked to the ebullient District Curator at Eastern Southland, Jim Geddes, about it… MS: Jim, why did you… Read more »

Margaret Butler: An Invisible Sculptor?

Butler-portrait

I recently delivered a paper on the New Zealand sculptor Margaret Butler (1883-1947) at the University of Otago conference, ‘Making Women Visible’. Although one or two of her sculptures are occasionally exhibited, she is next to invisible to the wide public, certainly far more obscure than her older contemporary Frances Hodgkins. Yet whenever I see… Read more »

Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz: The Winner!

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The great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz has a truly triumphant winner, Vivienne Morrell, of Wellington. She wins a Te Papa voucher, wine and Belgian chocolates, a pretty cool combination. Her set of answers was little short of brilliant: she only struggled with part of one question, which was fiendishly difficult anyway. Congratulations, Vivienne! Now, here’s a question for all of you: would you like more quizzes… Read more »

Licking the Old Masters: The First New Zealand Christmas Stamps

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To quote Bing Crosby, ‘every Christmas card I write’, would be enveloped and stamped unless the friend or relation receiving it was literally ­close. For me and surely millions of others, the stamp itself needed to be a Christmas one. Notice how I use the past tense. In the days of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter,… Read more »

The Great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz!

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  As promised, here is the great Ngā Toi Quiz! Prizes include: goodies from Ngā Toi store, Belgian chocolates and possibly something liquid! Answer EACH of the following: 1. Where can you find a frightening notice about a murder? 2. Which art work daringly depicts two women lovers? 3. There’s a Picasso in one art work. … Read more »

Curator’s Picks from the new Ngā Toi/ Arts Te Papa

  • Snake
  • Snake
  • Maori combat with Taiaha and Mere 1906 McDonald James - photocopy
  • Moa

Even before you arrive here, you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet: a massively enlarged version of Alfred Burton’s Milford Sound: Cascade from Mitre wittily tumbles down the steps to Level 4. You must bravely navigate the cascade, as a real treat awaits you! Best painting? This must be Strutt! His View of Mt Egmont,… Read more »

Van Gogh 125

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One hundred and twenty five years ago, in a cornfield of raucous crows, Vincent van Gogh shot himself. On 15 October I am exploring the Van Gogh phenomenon in a public lecture, ‘Starry, starry night: looking at Vincent van Gogh’, Soundings Theatre, 6 pm. This is being presented on behalf of the Embassy of the… Read more »

Healing Te Papa’s Achilles Heel: George Dawe Redefined!

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Posh ignorance vs. best practice Art historians and curators can be obstinately wrong and obtuse even about great masterpieces. A notorious example is Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine (c. 1490) which should really be called Lady with a Ferret, but posh ignorance prevails. The best practitioners in the field are never afraid to… Read more »