Posts categorized as Collections Online

Uniformity: Making the Curatorial Cut

  • Jerry UGS
  • Graphic for Sir Jerry's uniform. Te Papa 2012.
  • Taiaha Kura http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=132774&term=taiaha+red
  • Photographer Michael Hall, Te Papa 2012.

 I’ve been asked a lot of questions about why some of the new acquisitions were pursued and why they were put into this show, so hopefully this entry will help answer some of the queries and shed light on the curatorial decisions made for Uniformity. In my last blog Uniformity: Why Uniforms Matter, I talked about… 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 »

October 1935: This month last century

77 years ago the distribution of free milk to 5500 primary school children in Auckland begins (14 October 1935)  This world first began as a temporary measure in Auckland for primary school children up to Standard 4 (year 6). The experiment, paid for the Auckland City Council, was closely watched by the government. Initially, over… 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 »

Laughing boy

It is not often I come across early photographs that capture pure joy like this one does. Too young to find the serious appeals of the photographer’s command to “keep still” anything other than funny, this infant boy’s laughter dominates the image and projects a good sense of fun about the activity of having one’s… Read more »

Niuean Katoua (club)

This is our final blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). In recent times, the katoua, a long club or cleaving club, has become an iconic symbol representing identity and culture for many Niueans. Used in festival and school performances, it is a… Read more »