Posts categorized as History

‘Wearable of the Week’ # 1

Isabelle by Lorene Ireland, USA, 200?. Photography by

On 24 August, 2013 The WOW Factor, which celebrates 25 years of the WearableArt™ Awards, opened to the public. The exhibition features over 25 fantastic garments from the award’s history, and for the next 25 weeks I am going to endeavour to post a ‘Wearable of the Week’. ‘The Wearables’ is an affectionate short hand… Read more »

Lecture: Arpilleras: Evolution and Revolution

Olla común en una población/Soup kitchen in a barrio
Chilean Arpillera, Taller Fundación Missio, Santiago, 1982 Photo Martin Melaugh

Chilean curator Roberta Bacic is a keynote speaker at the Third International Visual Methods conference in Wellington hosted by Victoria University and Te Papa. We are fortunate to also have her speak on the fascinating and politically-significant stories of arpilleras.     Arpilleras – tapestries or quilts sewn by women that ‘speak out’ visually about… Read more »

A recent acquisition to mark the end of this year’s Matariki celebrations

  • Kikopiri
  • Snowden 1
  • Snowden 2
  • Maori women from Otaki

“Matariki Ahunga Nui – Matariki is a provider of abundant resources” This recent acquisition (purchased June 2013) is a tukutuku tūrapa, or panel named ‘Matariki’. It was woven to acknowledge the Maori New Year by master weaver Sonia Snowden (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi). It is made of kiekie, pīngao , woven in a lattice form… Read more »

Conservation of a Micronesian textile

Recently I completed a two year project to conserve a unique Micronesian textile.  It was such a pleasure to get acquainted with this very rare object with distinctive features–I was amazed to see that the colour changes in the patterned end of the cloth had been created by either interlinking or knotting  warps of two colours together (photomicrograph image below), indicating a high level weaving… Read more »

June 1953: Last month last century

Sixty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II is crowned (2 June 1953) Only selected officials were invited into Westminster Abbey to witness the formal coronation ceremony, so thousands of people lined the route of the coronation porcession in order to see the Queen. Robert Buhler’s lithograph (above) depicts part of the crowd that watched the historic… Read more »

Banks’ black and white engravings – now imaged and online!

Brachyglottis repanda Forster & G. Forster, 1895 Parkinson. A common coastal, forest and lower montane New Zealand species.

  It took many hours of sorting, registration, taxonomy review, preparation and coordination, then 12 long sessions in the imaging lab.  Te Papa Science staff have now completed the online access for 2241 black & white engravings of plants collected on Captain Cook’s first voyage. The Te Papa Collection Online narratives about the Banks and Solander black and white engravings… Read more »

A collection of Fa’alupega (chiefly titles) – Le vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language week)

FE012543; O le Tusi FAALUPEGA o Samoa; 1981; Malua Printing Press; printing paper; Samoa Islands

 To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Samoa (Samoan language week) 26-31 May 2013, the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Sämoa. Fa’alupega or the naming of chiefly titles is a fundamental part of Samoan culture and custom, as it connects individuals and families to land and origins of their… Read more »