Posts categorized as Art

Out of our minds – Watkins, Didion and the Malakoff Diggins

malakoff diggins watkins

  Despite their age Carleton Watkins’ photographs have an enduring appeal. Their large scale and simple beauty makes them stand out amongst the vast array of nineteenth century landscape photographs. Often Watkins’ photographs don’t simply document or show facts – they disorient our sense of identity and place in front of a scene. Sometimes finding… Read more »

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting he found.  A rare early twentieth… Read more »

Get Downloading – 20 great GLAM websites for free high resolution images

  • Parrot's leg ring, kaka poria, made of nephrite. Oc1878,1101.616, AN72598001 © Trustees of the British Museum licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license
  • Arayori (A Peasant Woman), ca. 1915 by Yoshida Homei. wood with applied color. CC0. Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
  • Iris Corsage Ornament, ca. 1900 by Tiffany and Company. Montana sapphires, diamonds, demantoid garnets, topaz, blued steel, gold alloys, platinum. CC0. Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
  • Major General Andrew Hamilton Russell. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/1-002064-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

People often ask me where they can find images of collection items that they can reuse for free. There is no single website hosting all of the reusable images available so I thought I’d list my favourite galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) that make at least some images of their collections freely available for reuse…. Read more »

Forceps delivery

John Foster. Untitled – from the 'Forceps Delivery' series. 1978. Lithograph on paper. Purchased 2015. Te Papa (2015-0026-2)

The late American writer Christopher Largen once said: “Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.” If that is so, why has childbirth been such an unusual subject for modern and contemporary artists? Motherhood is a relatively common subject in Western Art, from depictions of the… Read more »

Faking Rembrandt: Copies in the collection

Faking Rembrandt: copies in the collection

Copies of prints have never been easier to identify than they are today. More and more museums (including Te Papa) are making high-resolution images of their collections available online, so that we can compare the prints in our collection with their counterparts across the world. This makes it possible even for students like myself (a… Read more »

Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz: The Winner!


The great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz has a truly triumphant winner, Vivienne Morrell, of Wellington. She wins a Te Papa voucher, wine and Belgian chocolates, a pretty cool combination. Her set of answers was little short of brilliant: she only struggled with part of one question, which was fiendishly difficult anyway. Congratulations, Vivienne! Now, here’s a question for all of you: would you like more quizzes… Read more »

Barry Brickell (1935-2016)

[Barry Brickell], 1956, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (F.009393)

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to an extraordinary New Zealander – potter, artist, railway enthusiast, conservationist and a self confessed ‘practical visionary’. Our condolences go to Barry’s family and many friends. Barry was a second generation studio potter, following the pioneering achievements of potters including Len Castle who mentored Barry as a… Read more »

Painting by numbers: creating a colonial masterpiece

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as budding artists were more often preoccupied… Read more »