Posts categorized as History

Getting into our uniforms: A behind the scenes look

  • The display mannequin with a cavity cut out, to accomodate the required locking mounts for the firearms and to enable the mannequin to be screwed to the back wall of the case. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • Detail of the glove after the modification of the display mannequin. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • Mannequin hands with rebuilt fingers constructed of armature wire and archival foam. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • Uniform of Colonel Willie Apiata, VC dressed on its mannequin without any modifications. The mannequin was about 10 cm narrower between the shoulders than Colonel Apiata, and slightly taller than him. Image copyright Te Papa.

Hopefully many of you have seen or plan to see our newest Eyelights gallery exhibition that opened on the 24th of September.  Uniformity: Cracking the Dress Code  features uniforms worn in various contexts—school, church, battlefield, rugby field, and even those worn on the street.  A previous post about Uniformity talked about the role that outside… Read more »

Hero’s uniform

Lance Corporal Willie Apiata on duty in Afghanistan, 2004.  Photograph courtesy of the New Zealand Army

Uniformity: Cracking the dress code  has just opened on level 4 of  Te Papa in the Eyelights Gallery.  This time we’ve focused on uniforms, the influence of uniforms on fashion, and elements of uniformity in the way people dress. A highlight of the exhibition is Corporal Willie Apiata, VC’s combat uniform from Afghanistan. Corporal Apiata… Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Angels and Aristocrats

Mrs Humphrey Devereux; 1771; Copley, John Singleton.  After treatment, 2012, photograph by Kate Whitley

Te Papa’s latest art exhibition, Angels & Aristocrats, opens on the 20th October in the Level 5 galleries.  The exhibition draws on a number of collections from around New Zealand including artworks from Te Papa’s collection which you will see on display.  Some of these paintings required attention in the conservation lab before the exhibition began, to allow… Read more »

Do you know this building?

 Te Papa has an enormous collection of photographs, negatives and transparencies by Brian Brake (1927 – 88), one of New Zealand’s best known photographers.  Brake became famous while working overseas as a photojournalist – one of his best known works is the Monsoon photo essay, which he took in 1960.  He also photographed extensively in… Read more »

September 1907 – this month last century

105 years ago New Zealand becomes a Dominion (26 September 1907) At 11am, 26 September 1907, New Zealand officially moved up in the ranks in the British Empire. On that day it became a Dominion instead of a Colony. That night, electric illuminations on buildings in the capital proclaimed this auspicious and historical moment. Although public… Read more »

Wi Tako Ngatata…

  • Wiremu Tako Ngatata. Cowan, James, 1870-1943 :Collection of photographs. Ref: PAColl-3033-1-04. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/22753197
  • 1921-0001-1 Dr. Featherston and the Maori Chiefs, Wi Tako and Te Puni 1857-58
  • Wi Tako Ngātata painted by Gottfried Lindauer (1880)
  • ME023859; The writing compendium presented to Wi Tako Ngātata on his appointment to the New Zealand Parliament Legislative Council in 1872.

Wi Tako Ngatata ME023859; Writing Compendium [presented to Wi Tako Ngatata] This writing slope belonged to Wi Tako Ngātata, one of Wellington’s most influential tribal leaders during the early colonial period. It commemorates his appointment to the New Zealand Legislative Council. Wi Tako (with Mokena Kohere, Ngāti Porou) was the first Mäori to be appointed to the Council in 1872. Later that… Read more »

Lecture: Undressing Mr Darcy ‘a scandalous delight’

Ian Kelly's 'biography of the year' on Beau Brummell.

When Colin Firth emerged from the lake dripping wet as Mr Darcy in the BBC’s 1995 dramatisation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, many women world-wide certainly dreamed of undressing Mr Darcy. Rather than literally undressing Austen’s dashing hero, Ian Kelly, accalimed British biographer and actor, will take a revealing look at the life and times which… Read more »

The Amazon’s final home run

Amazon Softball Club 2012/2011.Te Papa

 The Amazon Softball Club, the first and last lesbian softball club in New Zealand, has kindly donated a selection of team uniforms and ephemera to Te Papa. The Amazon’s formed at the height of gay liberation in 1977. The Wellington based club provided a space for self-identified lesbians to socialise, find solidarity and develop confidence… Read more »