Posts categorized as Art

Photography and Te Papa in 2014

O.31243 Bill Gamble & his festive bottle

I have a confession: I am a bit of a vampire of sorts. I feed on Te Papa’s Photography collection – I use it to think and process ideas, to research and to write. Over the last year I have focused on what I believe counts: connections between photography and small stories about people and places, especially in the… Read more »

Christmas Treasures from Te Papa

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  • 1948-0005-3; Party, Christmas Eve; Circa 1930; Richardson, H L.
  • 1948-0005-3; Party, Christmas Eve; Circa 1930; Richardson, H L.

Seasonal Treasures from Te Papa In global terms, Aotearoa New Zealand is not a religiously observant nation. But we have long taken pride in being a tolerant one. Many of us thoroughly enjoy our Santa parades, carol services and, among cultural enthusiasts, full-on performances of Handel’s Messiah. It is difficult to imagine a publicly displayed… Read more »

High-flying prints in Air New Zealand exhibition

Poster, ’NAC’, 1950s, New Zealand, by New Zealand National Airways Corporation, Weeks Field Ltd.. Purchased 2011. Te Papa (GH017270

Air New Zealand’s 75th anniversary celebrations begin with a new exhibition due to open at Te Papa on the 20 December 2014; Air New Zealand 75 years: Our nation. The world. Connected. The exhibition includes a fabulous and sometimes quirky range of objects selected from Air New Zealand’s archive and Te Papa’s own collection. As our… Read more »

A student’s personal response to Colin McCahon

Robert Burrowes's personal response to Colin McCahon's Walk (Series C)

Earlier this year over 60 visual art and art history students from Wellington region colleges attended a study day at Te Papa to learn about Colin McCahon. To open the day, Te Papa curator Rebecca Rice gave students an overview of McCahon’s life and outlined main themes in his work. Students then took part in workshops led by… Read more »

William H. Macey – making a fine art of studio portrait photography

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I’ve said in a previous blog post that Blenheim photographer William Macey’s cabinet cards elevated the format to an art form. So I thought I had better demonstrate my point by putting together a blog of some of his best studio portraits from those in Te Papa’s photography collection. What I admire about these portraits from his… Read more »

Zine-making student workshops with Kerry Ann Lee

Close up of student's zine art work, Wellington College

Te Papa recently commissioned local artist Kerry Ann Lee to make a new work for the light boxes in the Whare Toi / Art Studio space in Nga Toi / Arts Te Papa on level 5.  Her work Knowledge on a beam of  starlight  is conceived of as ‘The Incredible Dream Zine Machine’ – and invites visitors… Read more »

Shooting the Past – the photographic archive as subject

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  Recently I’ve been watching a BBC TV mini series about a doomed photography archive – Shooting the Past. The series was released in 1999 and I don’t know how I missed seeing it then but I was busy writing a dissertation on colonial photography (or maybe it didn’t even get played on TV here). The show presents… Read more »

Colin McCahon’s Northland Panels travels north to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

  • Painting conservator Sarah Hillary, painting conservator Tijana Cvetkovic, curator Caroline McBride, curator Catherine Hammond and conservation scientist Tom Learner. Image courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
  • During installation of Northland Panels. Image courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
  • Sarah Hillary, Tom Learner and Tijana Cvetkovic discussing the painting's surface. Image courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
  • The painting installed in the gallery. This image has All Rights Reserved. Image © Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust

Earlier this year I travelled to Auckland Art Gallery with one of Te Papa’s masterpieces, Colin McCahon’s Northland Panels, 1958, which is the centrepiece of the exhibition Modern Paints Aoteraroa. This was the first time in 25 years that the iconic painting has travelled to another institution, and the first time in five years that… Read more »

Recent acquisition – ambrotype of a couple in front of a wall

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There is so much to admire about this beautiful ambrotype recently acquired for Te Papa’s photography collection – look at the couple’s cheeks touched up by hand in pink, their jewellery and clothing. I also like that the couple are posed in front of the photographer’s studio interior wall fitted with a dado rail (centre behind the couple’s chests) and panel… Read more »

Recently I travelled to Stratford to attend the opening of Te Papa’s touring art exhibition Gordon Walters: Koru which is currently on show at the Percy Thomson Gallery. The exhibition includes a selection of the artist’s iconic koru works from the mid-1950s until the 1980s from Te Papa’s collection. It also includes rarely seen preparatory… Read more »