Posts categorized as Art

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 »

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014): An Appreciation

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014), 2009 (Michael Hall, Te Papa)

By the Art Curators at Te Papa: Sarah Farrar, Athol McCredie, Lissa Mitchell, Chelsea Nichols, Justine Olsen, Rebecca Rice, Mark Stocker and Megan Tamati-Quennell The recent passing of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, CNZM, (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kurī, Te Aopōuri, Pākehā), the national museum’s Head of Arts & Visual Culture, leaves not only Te Papa but the wider art… Read more »

Whale tooth graffiti – Fiji language week 2014 (slideshow)

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This is our last blogpost for Fiji Language Week 2014 where the theme has been ‘Noqu vosa, noqu iyau talei’ – My language, my treasure’. I thought I’d share a few examples where language actually appears on one of Fiji’s treasures. Tabua (pronounced  tambua – b=mb) are pierced and braided whales’ teeth, originally taken from… Read more »

1933/16 – an old acquisition of photographs

E. S. Richards, Original Post Office, Featherston Street, circa 1865,

  One of my favourite groups of photographs in the collection is a series of carte-de-visite prints all bound together by the number ‘1933/16′. From this number we know that this small group of photographs was the 16th group of objects acquired by the Dominion Museum in 1933. We also know that they were gifted by Mrs E. W…. Read more »