Posts categorized as History

How to deal with human DNA contamination of your DNA sequencing: an example from a Malawian dance garment.

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

You’ve probably seen forensic scientists on TV taking swabs and fingerprints from crime scenes. They aren’t wearing labcoats, hairnets and gloves to look cool but to prevent them contaminating their forensic evidence with their own DNA. But how do scientists deal with items that are already contaminated with unwanted human DNA? I recently encountered this… Read more »

Old jersey, new knickers

Housewife’s guide to making and mending, 1940, London, by Hulton Press. Te Papa (RB001288)

Mending is something of a lost art In this day and age – clothes are plentiful and can be bought cheaply. But in England in the 1940s it was an absolute necessity, given that new clothes were limited by the amount of clothing coupons you had. By 1945 an adult was down to 24 coupons… Read more »

Creating something Shakespearean: Raymond Boyce and the Globe hangings

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  • Adonis cartoon
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Do you support hangings? I certainly do if we are discussing the four embroidered wall hangings at Shakespeare’s Globe in London’s Bankside, designed by Wellington artist Raymond Boyce and made by over 400 women from North Shore to Southland in 1991. They are Aotearoa New Zealand’s proud gift to Shakespeare’s and a handsome testament to the important place… Read more »

Collecting mothers

  • Teina and Marama relaxing at home in 2015. Photograph by Norm Heke, Te Papa, 2015
  • Teina Davidson on a march to save the Māuis dolphin in 2014
  • Mikaere Haumaha with his mum, and with Maama in the garden. Photo by Norm Heke, Te Papa, 2015
  • Mikaere with parents Kim / Kimmi and Anaru or Andrew Haumaha, Nana Haumaha.

Collecting Childhood is a Te Papa project focused on children growing up in New Zealand today, but it’s not just about the kids. They are central, and the aim is to represent their daily lives and key moments through objects, photographs, and their ongoing stories, but also of interest are their families and mothers. Mother’s… 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 »

W.R.B. Oliver – jack-of-all-trades and master of most

  • Chatham Island red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis Oliver, 1930) – named by Oliver in his first edition of New Zealand birds. Image: Dave Crouchley, Department of Conservation/New Zealand Birds Online
  • Reginald Oliver collecting plants at Wilmot Pass, Fiordland, March 1927. Image by J.T. Salmon, Dominion Museum. Te Papa (MA_B.014931)
  • Dominion Museum building, 1984 (then known as the National Museum). Image: Mark Strange, Te Papa (MA_B.016888)
  • IShepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver 1937) stranded at Ōteranga Bay, Wellington, September 1998. Photograph by Peter Simpson, Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai (10041750)

Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end of 2016. The exhibition, and this series of blogs, explore the history of the museum by showcasing some… Read more »

Allan Thomson and the Cenozoic brachiopods

  • J. Allan Thomson (1881-1928). Image: Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 10 no. 2
  • Fossil lamp shell (brachiopod) Rhizothyris amygdala Thomson, 1920; holotype BR.001348, Hutchinson's Quarry, Oamaru, greensands
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  • Fossil lamp shell (brachiopod) Pachymagas hectori Thomson, 1920; holotype BR.001339, Landon Creek, near Oamaru, greensands. Named after Allan Thomson’s predecessor as Director of the Colonial Museum (later Dominion Museum), Sir James Hector

Our national museum’s third director was New Zealand’s first Rhodes Scholar, but was cut down in his prime. Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end… Read more »

Max Gimblett and ‘The Art of Remembrance’

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  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • Gimblet Rememberance Upfront_49

On display as part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is an exhibition called The Art of Remembrance, featuring the work of contemporary New Zealand artist Max Gimblett ONZM. This blog post gives some more information about the project and its earlier incarnation as a public art project in Auckland last year.   The exhibition contains… Read more »