Posts categorized as Art

Our tamariki turned into dragons!

  • Visitor wearing a dragon mask
  • Visitor wearing his dragon mask
  • Discovery Centre hosts and visitors wearing dragon masks
  • Michael Discovery Centre Host wearing dragon mask

On Saturday and Sunday, visitors to the museum were given a shock. Our NatureSpace hosts had turned into dragons! Luckily, they didn’t look too scary. Every weekend between 11am-12noon the Discovery Centres have free craft activities for children and families. Last weekend children made their own dragon masks: scary, silly and surprising. There were some… Read more »

Birds of a feather

  • Page from the British Museum's 1970 guide for collectors on preparing bird skins.
  • DEAD SET POSTER | PUKEKO, offset print on 170gsm
  • DEAD SET | MIROMIRO SCARF, digital print on silk/cotton
  • DEAD SET | KOTARE CUSHION, Digital print on hemp / organic cotton

The Te Papa Store has just taken possession of a range of new stock inspired by the museum’s natural history collection. Dead Set is by textile designer Genevieve Packer, and is based on Te Papa’s haunting and strange collection of bird skins.   For the novice, of which I am in the case of natural history, bird skins are… Read more »

Movember memories

Movember is drawing to a close, and thousands of men in New Zealand and around the world are sporting moustaches for a good cause.  In New Zealand, the funds raised are being used for research, advocacy and survivor support around men’s cancer and mental health.  Here’s a small selection of moustachioed men, drawn from our… Read more »

‘Vacant lot of cabbages’ documentation enters Te Papa’s archives

  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.

In 1978 contemporary New Zealand artist Barry Thomas undertook a public art project in inner city Wellington. Utilising a vacant lot on the corner of Willis and Manners Streets, the artist and his friends cut through a wire perimeter fence, delivered a truckload of top soil to the site and planted 180 cabbages. The project… Read more »

A slice of Wellington life: the Berry & Co collection

  • Photographing a Berry & Co glass plate negative.  We use a Phase I P40 camera and Schneider 110 lens, used with extension tube, with a 40MB back.  This gives us a 38MB digital image, which is our ‘access master’ size.  Photograph Michael Hall, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • Negatives can be difficult to ‘read’, so creating a positive digital image makes it easier for us to improve our catalogue data, for example by using clothing details to estimate the date the photograph was taken.

Te Papa has a collection of nearly 4,000 glass plate and film negatives taken by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co.  The studio was founded by William Berry in 1897, and operated in Cuba St until 1931.  The negatives are mainly portraits – of families, children, men and women, soldiers in uniform, the occasional… Read more »

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 »