Posts categorized as History

Peace and symbolism: Nuclear-free New Zealand, 30 years on

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament symbol - black on white

Thirty years ago today the ground-breaking New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987 became law. New Zealand became the first Western-allied country to officially ban nuclear-armed and powered warships from its territory. History curator Stephanie Gibson looks at iconic symbols from the time. It took decades of activism to get to this point…. Read more »

The missing Military Cross from the Battle of Messines

  • Ruins of a building, Messines, during World War I. Photograph taken 1917 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Ref: 1/2-012778-G, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918: H Series negatives, PAColl-5311-3, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
  • Uniform sleeve (partial), cap badge and hat pins, 1914-1918, New Zealand, maker unknown. Gift of Marianne Abraham, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016805)
  • Doll, Soldier, 1914-1916, New Zealand, by Dorothy Broad. Purchased 2009. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016389)
  • Officer’s medal stripes, 1914-1918, New Zealand, maker unknown. Gift of Marianne Abraham, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016807)

Wyville Rutherford’s ‘conspicuous gallantry’ during the Battle of Messines won him a Military Cross. But the medal, like Wyville, didn’t make it back to New Zealand. History curator Kirstie Ross shares details of Wyvillle’s WWI experiences and a unique group of mementos that survived him instead. Wyville Rutherfurd (sometimes spelled Rutherford) was awarded a Military… Read more »

Albrecht the Great: Five Dürers at Te Papa

The large horse, 1505, by Albrecht Dürer. Gift of Sir John Ilott, 1962. Te Papa (1962-0001-9)

Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, explores five great Albrecht Dürer prints in Te Papa’s collection, and tells you all you ever wanted to know about Dürer’s most famous work, Melencolia I. Albrecht Dürer featured prominently in Te Papa’s foundation collection, when Bishop Ditlev Monrad gifted nearly 600 Old Master prints to the Colonial… Read more »

Are you a Dürer adorer?

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Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, introduces us to one of his all-time favourite artists, Albrecht Dürer, who is represented by over 40 works in Te Papa’s collection. He explains why Dürer is brilliant, fun, and highly relevant today. To admire or to like? In art history, there are plenty of artists that you… Read more »

New Zealand Music Month: The legacy of Bob Marley

  • O.018215; A Certain Kind of Past - Glade House, Auckland; 1983-1984; Browning, Ken.  (Photographic image of an unidentified young man - with tattoos on his left arm - as seen in his bedroom, a number of posters adorn the back wall including one of Bob Marley)
  • O.018215; A Certain Kind of Past - Glade House, Auckland; 1983-1984; Browning, Ken. (Photographic image of an unidentified young man - with tattoos on his left arm - as seen in his bedroom, a number of posters adorn the back wall including one of Bob Marley)
  • GH024645; Poster, 'Those cops are heading towards us!!'; early 1980s; Wellington Media Collective. (One badge says Bob Marley, one of the woman has dreadlocks and the colour combination of red, gold and green is present)
  • Toni (left) and Brian Fonoti in London on their way to Ethiopia. 1988.  Credit: Toni Fonoti collection.  Retrieved from http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/toni-fonoti/image/10868

It’s New Zealand Music Month! Rachel Yates, Curator Pacific Cultures, looks at the influence of Bob Marley on the musical landscape of New Zealand. Since 2001, driven by the New Zealand Music Commission, the month of May has been dedicated to the promotion and celebration of local New Zealand artists and music. As part of… Read more »

Collecting Challenging Histories – the ‘Manga Kahu’/‘Maunga Kahu’ (Black Power) T-shirt

T-shirt, ‘Maunga Kahu’, September 2009, Whanganui, New Zealand, by Denis O’Reilly (Black Power). Gift of Denis O’Reilly, 2017. Te Papa (ME024195)

Today is International Museum Day. Mātauranga Māori senior curator Puawai Cairns considers this year’s theme – ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’ – through the ‘Maunga Kahu’ protest T-shirt. When I acquire material for the museum’s collection, there is an image in my head that I constantly refer to, to help me… Read more »

Appealing the lottery of death

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What would you do if your wife was expecting your first child and you were compulsorily called up for military service? James Dempsey faced this dilemma in January 1917. History curator Kirstie Ross shows how James, like thousands of New Zealand men who juggled the calls made by King and Country, work, and family, appealed his conscription…. Read more »

Tamatea ‘Dusky Sound’ revisited

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Mātauranga Māori curator Dougal Austin offers an indigenous perspective on first contact between Māori and Cook’s men in Tamatea (Dusky Sound). In November 2016 I took part in a field trip to remote Tamatea, or Dusky Sound, in Fiordland. Together with natural history scientists including a designated photographer, our team spent 10 days in the sounds sailing… Read more »