Posts categorized as Collections Online

This month last century: May 1953

Sixty years ago, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain (29 May 1953) The two men’s mountaineering triumph came just a few days before Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Their feat boosted the rejoicing that was already taking place throughout the British Commonwealth… Read more »

News from Loans: Angels & Aristocrats at Auckland Art Gallery

Back in August 2012 I alerted you to the glorious exhibition titled Angels & Aristocrats. The exhibition, curated by Mary Kisler, celebrates the rich variety of early European art collected by New Zealand’s public art galleries since the 19th century.  Te Papa is one of those institutions that lent paintings to the exhibition.  In August… Read more »

April 1913: This month last century

100 years ago HMS New Zealand arrives in New Zealand (12 April 1913) In March 1909, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward announced that ‘the Dominion’ (New Zealand) was offering ‘the Motherland’ (Britain) the ‘free gift of … a first-class battleship’. The Prime Minister thought that his offer to pay for a ship would… Read more »

A tribute to font designer Joseph Churchward (1933-2013)

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We would like to pay a special tribute to Samoan artist Joseph Churchward who sadly passed away last weekend. We were privileged to have worked with Joseph in 2008, when my colleague Sean Mallon (Senior Curator Pacific Cultures) and I curated the exhibition Letter Man: Joseph Churchward’s world of type (2008). I recall well Joseph’s sense of humour… Read more »

Kiwi Faces of World War I – Anzac Day update. We have reached over 60 identifications!

To mark Anzac Day tomorrow, here is an update on our ‘Kiwi Faces of World War I’ soldier identficiation project. We now identified more than 60 men out of the 110 World War One soldiers who were photographed by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co. Most of these identifications have been based on detective… Read more »

Would you mine a rare population?

The umbrella fern Sticherus tener at a site within the planned Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

The Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau has been tentatively approved by the Environment Court, subject to suitable mitigation plans. One of the issues that may be under consideration is what to do about the site’s population of the Sticherus tener umbrella fern. Scoop news report: “…tentative nod for Denniston mine plan”. Sticherus tener has… Read more »

March 1940 – This month last century

73 years ago Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage dies (27 March 1940) Mickey Savage, as many New Zealanders fondly referred to him, was the country’s first Labour Prime Minister. Australian-born Savage had arrived in New Zealand in 1907. He became the Labour MP for Auckland Central electorate in 1919. Labour’s win 16 years later was… Read more »

February 1943: This month last century

70 years ago, 48 Japanese prisoners of war are killed during a riot at the Featherston prisoner of war camp (25 February 1943) From 1942, Japanese prisoners of war were brought to New Zealand and interned at the camp at Featherston, in the Wairarapa. This camp had previously been used as a military training camp during WWI. The… Read more »

Photography, chemistry and technology – 4 days peering below the surface

  • weaver course 001a
  • Silver halides turn to metal.
  • Comparing different finishes on a group of prints made with the same image and printed on the same paper. Proving how hard it can be to identify different types of toning in prints so similar let alone of different subjects, papers and eras.
  • Viewing print surface of a cabinet card under microscope.

Last week, along with 15 other people from museums and galleries around New Zealand who work with photographic collections, I attended a course on the care and identification of photographic prints and negatives. The course was taken by Gawain Weaver, a photographic conservator from San Francisco and he also gave another course in Auckland two weeks… Read more »

Guide to Fijian tree ferns

Cyathea lunulata, recognisable by its pale scales and frond stalks.  The most prominent tree fern in the Fijian lowlands. Photo by Leon Perrie. (c) Te Papa.

An abundance of tree ferns is one of the botanical characteristics that New Zealand shares with many of the larger Pacific Islands. The number of different species is not especially high, but tree fern individuals feature prominently in many Pacific and New Zealand landscapes. Following my work in Fiji, I’ve produced an online guide to… Read more »