Posts categorized as History

Five things you never knew about Rodin

Rodin walking dogs

Art curator Mark Stocker highlights five fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) enjoyed a 20-year reign until the end of his life as the world’s most famous artist  – not just sculptor. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death, I am giving a public lecture on… Read more »

Fate of the Berry Boys and the ‘disastrous fiasco’ of Passchendaele

  • El Mariscal de Campo Sir Douglas Haig, circa 1918, Spain, by Francis Dodd. Te Papa (CA000316/001/0017/0001)
  • Three portraits each on one negative of William Horace James and Gertrude Miriam James., 1915, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045525)
  • Portrait of Francis Edward Beaufort, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045050)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

The death of over 840 troops over a single day during the Battle of Passchendaele, compounded by a further 1,860 wounded, was a low point in New Zealand’s military contribution to WWI, 100 years ago today. History curator Kirstie Ross outlines the impact of the battle on seven New Zealand soldiers, all of whom were photographed… Read more »

The Fall of Singapore: The story of the Pether family

Kathleen and Harold Pether standing on a neighbour’s balcony, 1947–1948. Their home on Bukit Timah Road is in the background. Photographer unknown. Reproduced courtesy of the Pether family.

On 23 September an exciting new exhibition opened at the National Museum of Singapore called Witness to War: Remembering 1942. Ten objects from Te Papa were sent to Singapore to be featured in the exhibition. In this blog history curator Katie Cooper shares the story of the Pether family, and explains how they witnessed the war…. Read more »

Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, discusses his Collections Online summaries of Te Papa’s remarkable Rembrandt holdings. Sharing Rembrandt with the world Digital technology and art history scholarship/curation are a marriage made in heaven, believe me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written database web summaries of every Rembrandt – and wannabe Rembrandt – in… Read more »

A grisly grizzly bear tale for World Animal Day

  • Jar, 1850-1860. England. Te Papa CG000578
  • Jane Dodd, A Jungle Incident, 2014. Photo Studio La Gonda.
  • Jane Dodd, Polar Pranks, 2012. Te Papa 2012-0022-1
  • MA_I307372.640x640

On World Animal Day, which aims to bring attention to the plight of animals worldwide, Claire Regnault, Senior Curator History, explores the work of Jane Dodd – a jeweller whose exquisitely rendered work draws on the cruel history of blood sports. Blood Sports Jane Dodd is a contemporary New Zealand jeweller, who throughout her career has… Read more »

Adkin diaries update: Your help still needed to bring them to life

  • Screenshot of a search result in Collections Online
  • Empty paddock
  • Two women and a baby sit on a picnic blanket
  • Man stands in a field holding a scythe

An update from history curator Kirstie Ross on the progress made transcribing selected diaries from those kept by Horowhenua farmer Leslie Adkin for 40 years. Thanks transcribers! A few weeks ago I invited blog readers to transcribe diaries from October 1917 to November 1918 kept by Leslie Adkin, a Levin farmer, photographer, husband and father,… Read more »