Posts categorized as Exhibitions

Sir James Hector and the Kerguelen connection

  • Lyallia kerguelensis, Ile Mayes, Iles Kerguelen. Image: Colin Miskelly, IPEV / Te Papa
  • Hectorella caespitosa, Sealy Range, Southern Alps. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Commerson's dolphin, Golfe du Morbihan, Iles Kerguelen. Image: Colin Miskelly, IPEV / Te Papa
  • Hector’s dolphin. Image: Steve Dawson, New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust

The Kerguelen Islands are among the most remote islands on the planet, lying in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean about 7300 km west of New Zealand (or 17,000 km east if you prefer). Yet they have at least two unlikely connections with New Zealand – a plant and a dolphin. And both are… Read more »

Wineera family portrait : A picture tells a thousand words.

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A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS Stories from He iti whetū : Ngāti Toa portraits. Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa: Kanohi Kitea Māori & Pacific Encounters   This family portrait from the turn of last century is a remarkable and striking statement about family and identity. Titled Ko mātou me ā mātou tamariki, mokopuna hoki, or ‘Ourselves, our children and grandchildren’, this collection… 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 »

Silent Night

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  • A painted notice to assist the evacuation of Anzac Cove, December 1915. Photograph by Norman Henry Prior. Wairarapa Archives (11-72/
  • Saying goodbye to mates before leaving Gallipoli. Photo by Norman Prior. Wairarapa Archive

100 years ago in the early hours of 20 December 1915 the last party of New Zealand men left Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. The campaign was over. For those of us who worked on the exhibition, Gallipoli: The scale of our war, the stories of the Anzacs’ tenuous presence there from April to December 1915 are… Read more »

‘The wild country of my Taihape’: a painting by Douglas MacDiarmid

Painting by Douglas MacDiarmid

One of my favourite paintings in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is a small oil by Douglas MacDiarmid – Papa cliff pool with bathers, Taihape. Whenever I see it, I’m struck by its clarity and intensity. Everything contributes to the sense of dream-like wonder: the emerald-green water, the sensuous curves of the cliffs, and… Read more »

Being a botanist: Q&A with students from South Wellington Intermediate School

Drawing a plant

Last week I was invited to give a talk at my son’s class at South Wellington Intermediate School (SWIS) about what it is like to be a botanist at Te Papa. To help me prepare, the students wrote down questions they had about botany or being a botanist. Their questions got me thinking about how… Read more »

Sir James Hector, Hector’s dolphin and Taniwhasaurus

  • The new species of Asplenium fern. Photograph by Leon Perrie, Te Papa
  • Dr James Hector, circa 1868, Wellington, by James Wrigglesworth. Purchased 1916. Te Papa (O.013163)
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  • Hector's dolphin. Image: Steve Dawson, New Zealand Dolphin Trust

Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You Called Me What?! 150 years of scientific discovery at Te Papa’ will be open on Level 3 from late November 2015 until the end of 2016. The exhibition, and… Read more »