Posts categorized as History

Recently I travelled to Stratford to attend the opening of Te Papa’s touring art exhibition Gordon Walters: Koru which is currently on show at the Percy Thomson Gallery. The exhibition includes a selection of the artist’s iconic koru works from the mid-1950s until the 1980s from Te Papa’s collection. It also includes rarely seen preparatory… Read more »

Farewell Berry Boys, George, Roy, Frank, and Alfred

Berry Boys exhibition on level 4 April-October 2014

Four of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ were amongst the 8500 men who left with the Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 16 October 1914. These men, in their fresh uniforms, were draper George Hornig (above, in a photo taken in 1912), cabinetmaker Roy Houchen, and Frank Barber, from Wellington, plus Alfred Gower, a… Read more »

A silver ribbon of bayonets

Berry projection

‘Sometimes they marched with fixed bayonets and you saw this silver ribbon come winding through the crowd…’  Ena Ryan This wonderful, almost cinematic line comes from an interview with Ena Ryan, a Wellingtonian who was born in 1908. In the interview she vividly recalls the outbreak of the First World War, and the trips with her father… Read more »

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

  • Ernest Kilby from Island Bay refused to fight. Photo: John Cordner
  • Playing hide n seek in Seatoun. Photo:  Caroline Sarfati
  • Photographer William Berry and his family revisit 147 Cuba St. Photo: Claire Regnault
  • Norman at the top of the Cable Car. Photo: An anonymous friend.

Just as the old Sesame Street song enthuses, take a little walk through your neighbourhood and see who you meet. Chances are that this week you will come across some faces from the past. For bent, the mysterious artist responsible for many magical happenings around the city, from giant pigeons to miniature box cities, has been busy reuniting people of the past with… Read more »

Earlier this year we welcomed Ngāti Toa Rangatira into Te Papa to fill our iwi gallery and to be our iwi in residence for two and a half years. Together with iwi leadership from Ngāti Toa and Te Papa, the exhibition ‘Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira’, and a host of events have been created for you… Read more »

Taking to the streets lest we forget

Berry and Co Building_02

This week Te Papa, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are  taking our collections to the streets for an outdoor multi-media presentation as part of the Wellington City Council’s First World War commemoration programme. The launch of Lest We Forget on the 16 October marks the 100th anniversary of the departure of 8000 New Zealand troops… Read more »

This week in history: the birth of The Jandal

Fish Jandals designed by DNA, and manufactured by Skellerup Industires, 1995. Rubber, screenprinted fabric, paint. Purchase 2009.

‘The bloke threw such a jandal!’ The only reason a bloke could throw a jandal (aka a tantrum), is because of  Morris Yock of Onehunga. As legend has it, before the 4 October 1957,  there was technically no jandal to throw. In 1957 Yock produced a version of the Japanese sandal in his garage and proudly named it… Read more »

World of WearableArt™ Symposium – register today

Its that time of year again – the colourful World of WearableArt™ has quite literally blown into town this week, ready to paint the town red! Hopefully by the time the competing designers fly in from around the world to see their garments take the stage, today’s gale force winds will have died down to a gentle, welcoming  sea breeze.   Wind,… Read more »

William Gemmell: WWI amputee postively identified

Te Papa holds 28 sepia-toned photographs taken of New Zealand servicemen who were wounded during World War I. None of the men in these photographs are identified. However, thanks to Julie Gemmell of Waikouaiti, we now know that one of the men in two of these photos is William Clement Gemmell, Julie’s grandfather. In the photograph above,… Read more »