Posts categorized as Design History

Ten splendid objects

Colourful dish

Curator decorative art and design Justine Olsen chooses her top ten objects exhibited in European Splendour: 1500–1800. The objects below are mainly decorative and through them we see changes in style, materials, and techniques. They offer a valuable insights into a bygone age and highlight the impact of religion, trade, culture, and the way European society viewed itself…. Read more »

Picking a pocket…or two

Intern Keira Miller in the lab, preparing materials for dyeing. Photo by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Have you ever thought about the history of the humble pocket?  This past winter, Keira Miller, an intern from the University of Glasgow’s Center for Textile Conservation, helped us with the treatment of some detachable 18th century pockets for the exhibition European Splendour 1500-1800.   Keira writes about the importance of pockets in 18th century fashion and the… Read more »

Design students inspired by Te Papa’s collections

Botanical inspired placement embroideries by Verity Morison, Fern Grant and Lauren Ewan, 2016. Photo by Claire Regnault.

Each year, the history curators take design students from Massey University though Te Papa’s collections behind the scenes. The students choose an item to inspire their own design and it’s around this time of year we see what they’ve created. Curator Claire Regnault shares some of the fabulous designs.  Refashioning the national wardrobe Each July students from Massey University’s second… Read more »

Curator Claire Regnault discusses the declaration that ‘fashion is dead’ – a question at the heart of this year’s End of Fashion conference, hosted in Wellington. In 2015 Li Edelkoort, a highly regarded trend forecaster, made international headlines with her declaration that fashion is dead. To support her claims she published an anti-fashion manifesto in which she… Read more »

A Children’s Guide to Splendour by Pukerua Bay School Museum

A Children's Guide to Splendour by Isaac du Toit, edited by Paddy Rockwell.

Written for children, by children, Te Papa’s Learning Innovation and Art teams are very excited to share the first book produced by our friends from the Pukerua Bay School Museum. This guide is full of great information relating to life in Europe in the 16th to 19th centuries – inspired by the taonga (treasures) on display in the European Splendour… Read more »

Remembering Avis Higgs: painter, designer, and ‘a truly awesome woman’

Swan Top, from Laurie Foon's 2005 collection Black Swan. The textile design was created by Avid Higgs in the 1940s.

Last week, we received the sad news that Avis Higgs had passed away just a few days after celebrating her 98th birthday. Avis Higgs was known to many as a painter. She was actively involved in the Architectural Centre Gallery, the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and the Watercolour Society of New Zealand.  She is also… Read more »

Pukerua Bay School Museum visit European Splendour

Entering Splendour, Photograph by Justine Olsen, © Te Papa

The European Splendour 1500-1800 exhibition opened on Friday 16 September in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa. Our friends from Pukerua Bay School Museum: Aurelia (aged 9), Paddy (aged 11), Isaac (aged 12) and their teacher Cat Lunjevich, came to visit and spent time in conversation with our curators Justine and Mark. They have kindly written this post… Read more »

Conserving and dressing 18th c. Splendour

  • Here we are carrying out the final fitting of both the dress to unsure that the garment is properly supported but not under any stress. At this point we can also adjust the final height of the ensemble and check the silhouette that has been created. Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The near-finished mount, complete with silk petticoat, jersey top cover and sleeve supports. There are strong small magnets attached to the front which will hold the bodice section in position- These are needed as the dress doesn’t have any buttons or other fastening. The opposing magnets will be placed on the outside of the garment. These should be difficult to see as they will be coloured to match the dress.
  • The torso after it has been padded into the correct size and period shape. There is a cotton tube underskirt to hold out the multiple layers of net underskirts instead of legs! Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The mannequin torso with the bust and waist cut away. A cotton cover is attached to the newly shaped form ready for padding to be stitched into place. Photo by Sam Gatey, copyright Te Papa.

A co-authored post by Anne Peranteau, Textile Conservator and Sam Gatley, Costume Mountmaker Historic dress, historic problems In 1951, Te Papa was given three 18th century dresses, all dating to approximately 1780.   Our work in the textile lab is currently focused on preparing two of these gowns for display in the Splendour module of Nga… Read more »

Paul Annear (1947-2016)

Black and white photo of Paul Annear

Studio jeweller, craftsman Te Papa sadly bids farewell to contemporary studio jeweller Paul Annear who passed away on 24 April in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Characterful and enigmatic, Paul loved materials and the process of craft making. He studied anthropology and psychology at the University of Auckland- subjects that helped inform his jewellery in the years… Read more »

Fashion Revolution Day

13077027_1598731247112958_3489487227477673053_n

This Sunday marks Fashion Revolution Day. Any one can take part. All you need to do is ask one simple question: ‘Who made my clothes?’ Fashion Revolution Day and Week was founded by people within the fashion industry in response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013. 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500… Read more »