Posts categorized as Art

Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »

Peter Stichbury (1924-2015)

Peter Stichbury, 1972, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (O.027680)

To commemorate the life of the late New Zealand potter Peter Stichbury our curator of art and design Justine Olsen looks back over his life’s work. It is with great sadness that we farewell Peter Stichbury – the last of the Leach generation of New Zealand studio potters. Equally at home behind his wheel or firing the… Read more »

Expedition and Rescue: Te Papa’s Medals

  • Hooker medal reverse
  • Hooker medal obverse
  • R & A Medal reverse
  • R & A Medal obverse

A relatively little known but fascinating area of Te Papa’s vast collection is its coins and medals. Medals are not only used to recognise military achievements – many of the medals in the collection, and those that I have been looking at, commemorate other events and achievements. Some medals were made to honour a person’s life,… Read more »

Stop, thief!

One of the stolen artworks. The Concert, Johannes Vermeer, c1664. Oil on canvas. Image source from Wikimedia Commons.

Theft is an oft-romanticised crime in folklore and popular culture – think Robin Hood, Dick Turpin, Maui stealing fiery fingernails from Mahuika, or Bonnie and Clyde. We have a fascination with stories about people who beat the system, ‘democratise’ income gaps, or simply break the rules. Favoured tales generally justify their criminality by serving popular… Read more »

Art for Valentine’s Day

  • Valentine blog 8
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  • Valentine blog 5

Feb. 14 is nigh!  A valid reason To commemorate the season Of love and matters of the heart As expressed in works of art, Chosen from our fine collection And brought to you, with much affection! The Valentine card in the form that we send (and hopefully receive) today only really became big business in… Read more »

Autochromes from the Te Papa collection

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Te Papa’s beautiful collection of early colour photographs made using the autochrome process is the focus of new article published by the online journal The Public Domain Review. The article can be accessed on either The Public Domain Review or OpenGlam. Lissa Mitchell – Curator Historical Documentary Photography More Photography? Follow Lissa on Twitter