Posts categorized as History

One million visitors: myriad meanings

Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor applies the finishing touches to the large scale model of Lottie Le Gallais. Photograph by Michael Hall, Te Papa.

Yesterday Te Papa achieved a significant milestone when Gallipoli: The scale of our war’s one millionth visitor and a friend were escorted through the exhibition. That number is almost equal to New Zealand’s population (1.1 million) during the war, 100 years ago. We’ve reached this phenomenal figure in just 18 months since the exhibition opened. That’s a… Read more »

Critters of Taumaka (Open Bay Islands)

Taumaka leech (Hirudobdella antipodum), Taumaka, March 1988. Image: Colin Miskelly

Taumaka is a 20 ha Māori-owned island lying about 4 km off the South Westland coast. Our visit to the island last month was to track foraging trips of breeding tawaki / Fiordland crested penguins, and was undertaken with the permission and support of the Taumaka me Popotai Trust. The island has a large New… Read more »

Prepping a 1905 replica All Blacks jersey for the road

Rugby jersey [1905 replica], 2011, New Zealand, by Robertina Downes, Deborah Cumming, Manawatu Knitting Mills Ltd, New Zealand Rugby Museum. Commissioned 2011. Te Papa (GH017325). After padding out for display.

Recently I blogged about preparing an 18th century gown (now on display in European Splendour).  A few weeks ago, the same skills were applied to a very different type of garment—the replica All Blacks “Originals” 1905 jersey. The jersey will be on display in Hamilton until January 8th in the Waikato Museum exhibition Fernz: an exploration of… Read more »

Walking billboards: the pervasive impact of the common t-shirt

Counter-protestors Hinemoana Baker and Fionnaigh McKenzie wearing self-made t-shirts. Image copyright: Ann-Marie Stapp.

Collecting fraught and hard-fought aspects of history is part of our role here at Te Papa, and given that last month was Queer History Month, I thought I would look at the acquisition of the Destiny Church ‘Enough is Enough’ t-shirt. These t-shirts were collected in 2012 to be part of the Uniformity exhibition. Though… Read more »

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Ethel Tweedie’s celebrity table-cloths

What dinner party conversation riled up this well dressed gent?

Following a recent blog post featuring a suffragette signature handkerchief, I became curious about the origins of what is collectively known as ‘signature cloths’. Just when did signature cloths become ‘a thing’ and what was their purpose?  Rozsika Parker, author of The Subversive Stitch, describes signature cloths as a ‘female social tradition by which guests would embroider their signatures for their hostess to commemorate… Read more »

‘A taste of hell’: Cecil Malthus on the Somme

Cecil Malthus, 1914. Courtesy of the Malthus family.

Finding Cecil Malthus in a muddy shell hole at the end of Gallipoli: The scale of our war reminds visitors that many Gallipoli veterans like Cecil went on to face more hardship on the Western Front. Just over 100 years ago, in September 1916, Cecil fought in the Battle of the Somme – the New… Read more »

The joy of dressing up – a look through our photography collection

9 people in Pierrots (clowns) outfits

With the World of Wearable Art Show (WOW) in town, and fantastic costume art in Te Papa’s store windows, we were inspired see what creative costumes we have in our photography collection. Mr A. Mason wearing a ‘poster’ costume for the Empire Tea Company’s Crescent brand, which was described in advertisements of the time as… Read more »

The power of lace – making European Splendour 1500-1800, Te Papa

Maker unknown, lace collar, linen, Europe. Gift of Mrs M W Aitken, 1970. Te Papa (PC001724). © photographer Justine Olsen.

Lace is fascinating for its changing and divisive role in history. Desired for its beauty and admired for its technical expertise, the best quality was restricted in use for monarchs and nobility.  While sumptuary laws during the 1500 and early 1600s claimed to protect local industries, lace actually helped identify social rank of the individual…. Read more »