Posts categorized as History

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)
  • YCMW title 640px
  • Hector's dolphin. Image: Steve Dawson, New Zealand Dolphin Trust

Te Papa will turn 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,… Read more »

The Great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz!

Digital StillCamera

  As promised, here is the great Ngā Toi Quiz! Prizes include: goodies from Ngā Toi store, Belgian chocolates and possibly something liquid! Answer EACH of the following: 1. Where can you find a frightening notice about a murder? 2. Which art work daringly depicts two women lovers? 3. There’s a Picasso in one art work. … Read more »

Curator’s Picks from the new Ngā Toi/ Arts Te Papa

  • Snake
  • Snake
  • Maori combat with Taiaha and Mere 1906 McDonald James - photocopy
  • Moa

Even before you arrive here, you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet: a massively enlarged version of Alfred Burton’s Milford Sound: Cascade from Mitre wittily tumbles down the steps to Level 4. You must bravely navigate the cascade, as a real treat awaits you! Best painting? This must be Strutt! His View of Mt Egmont,… Read more »

Call for papers: Costume & Textile Association of NZ symposium

Nature Now The Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand is calling for papers for their 2016 symposium, the theme of which is Nature Now. The symposium will take place 7-8 July 2016 at Massey University, Wellington. The natural world has long been a source of raw materials for textiles and clothing, from dyes to… Read more »

Wanted: Chinese laundry costume

Last week I posted a blog on the development of Poster Balls in New Zealand, along with a link to my Pinterest page where I am collating my finds. While I am particularly delighted with this photograph of a man dressed in a Dunlop tyre outfit from 1911 from the National Library’s collection, what I really want to find… Read more »

Ettie Rout: safer sex campaigner

Passport photograph of Ettie Rout, 1918.

Guest blogger Dame Margaret Sparrow writes about safer sex campaigner Ettie Rout: ‘One hundred years ago on 20 October 1915 twelve Volunteer Sisters gathered at Parliament Buildings to sign their Sisterhood Pledge and sailed off to Egypt the following day. The Volunteer Sisters were a band of women organised by Ettie Rout of Christchurch to… Read more »

Poster Balls: a new ‘species of fancy dress’

In September 1900, a new type of fund-raising ball caused a sensation in Australia, and made headlines across New Zealand – it was called a ‘Poster Ball’. While one reporter described it as a new ‘species of fancy dress’, another accurately called it ‘a new phase of advertising’. It was a novel combination both. In October 1900 this image from a Poster… Read more »

…it won’t be a lonely walk” – commemorating the 40th anniversary of the ‘Not One Acre More’ hīkoi

  • Maori Land March
  • Maori Land March
  • Maori Land March
  • Maori Land March, 1975, Wellington, by Ans Westra. Purchased 1993 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds.  Te Papa (O.010219/02)

The 13th of October marks the fortieth anniversary of the arrival of the ‘Not One Acre More’ hīkoi (land march) on the steps of New Zealand Parliament. The hīkoi, accompanied by vehicles in support, left Te Hāpua at the top of the North Island on the 14 September 1975, and wound its way down to… Read more »

Van Gogh 125


One hundred and twenty five years ago, in a cornfield of raucous crows, Vincent van Gogh shot himself. On 15 October I am exploring the Van Gogh phenomenon in a public lecture, ‘Starry, starry night: looking at Vincent van Gogh’, Soundings Theatre, 6 pm. This is being presented on behalf of the Embassy of the… Read more »

  Last week a small dazzling selection of headdresses belonging to Carmen Rupe (1936 – 2011), went on display at Te Papa. Carmen was a legendary transgender performer and brothel owner – the headwear represents her more flamboyant side.   Each headdress is part of an ensemble, specially selected by Carmen for Te Papa’s history collection…. Read more »