Posts written by Stephanie Gibson

Meeting John Clarke, and cleaning Fred Dagg’s gumboots for customs

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Comedian John Clarke has died, aged 68, but he lives on through our collections. Curator Stephanie Gibson recounts the story of how Te Papa acquired beloved Kiwi everyman Fred Dagg’s iconic outfit. Te Papa mourns the passing of John Clarke. To many New Zealanders he is Fred Dagg. Fred Dagg appeared on New Zealand television in 1973. Only three… Read more »

America’s First World War posters

Poster featuring Uncle Sam pointing a finger the viewer. Text says 'I Want You For U.S. Army'

One hundred years ago the United States of America declared war on Germany and its allies on 6 April 1917. History curator Stephanie Gibson looks at American propaganda posters from the time, some of which were on display in New Zealand. In the months that followed the declaration, millions of dramatic, emotional and persuasive American… Read more »

Queer History objects

Poster titled 'Queer the Night' featuring a unicorn leaping across the moon, trailing a rainbow.

As we near the end of Queer History Month, I’ve been thinking about how objects at Te Papa work together to illuminate aspects of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) life in New Zealand. One particular aspect I’ve noted is how society can both celebrate and marginalise particular groups of citizens regardless of legislation… Read more »

New step in The Mixing Room

The timeline in The Mixing Room exhibition. Photo by Kate Whitley (Te Papa, MA_I.302077).

Today we unveil a new glass step in The Mixing Room timeline, acknowledging the first major arrival of Syrian refugees to New Zealand as a result of the crisis which began five years ago. Te Papa has worked with the New Zealand Red Cross to make this step possible, and the exhibition now features direct… Read more »

World AIDS Day

New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDs, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died. Te Papa holds the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt which is made up of 16 large blocks of usually 8… Read more »

Ettie Rout: safer sex campaigner

Passport photograph of Ettie Rout, 1918.

Guest blogger Dame Margaret Sparrow writes about safer sex campaigner Ettie Rout: ‘One hundred years ago on 20 October 1915 twelve Volunteer Sisters gathered at Parliament Buildings to sign their Sisterhood Pledge and sailed off to Egypt the following day. The Volunteer Sisters were a band of women organised by Ettie Rout of Christchurch to… Read more »

Today is World Contraception Day!

Display case with one contraceptive pill stating 'the pill that changed the world' against a backdrop of visitors' comments 'Let's talk about sex'

World Contraception Day aims to improve awareness and access to the many contraceptive methods available, and to help people make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Contraception: Uncovering the collection of Dame Margaret Sparrow is an exhibition at Te Papa which features just about every contraceptive device you can think of, from the… Read more »

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘human rights’? This week Te Papa hosted a fantastic and thought-provoking conference on human rights in museums with the theme: ‘Access is a human right’. Federation of International Human Rights Museums Speakers from around the world shared their experiences, and we shared ours – from… Read more »

Condoms in the trolley

Supermarket, Devonport, Auckland, 1977, by John Daley. Gift of John Daley, 2012.  © Te Papa (O.038942)

Does anyone remember having to go into a pharmacy and ask for condoms? 30 years ago today saw a massive change in how New Zealanders bought condoms – for the first time they became available on supermarket shelves. Until 1985, condoms were bought mainly from chemist shops. Boxes were either on display or customers had… Read more »