Posts categorized as History

A silver ribbon of bayonets

Berry projection

‘Sometimes they marched with fixed bayonets and you saw this silver ribbon come winding through the crowd…’  Ena Ryan This wonderful, almost cinematic line comes from an interview with Ena Ryan, a Wellingtonian who was born in 1908. In the interview she vividly recalls the outbreak of the First World War, and the trips with her father… Read more »

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

  • Ernest Kilby from Island Bay refused to fight. Photo: John Cordner
  • Playing hide n seek in Seatoun. Photo:  Caroline Sarfati
  • Photographer William Berry and his family revisit 147 Cuba St. Photo: Claire Regnault
  • Norman at the top of the Cable Car. Photo: An anonymous friend.

Just as the old Sesame Street song enthuses, take a little walk through your neighbourhood and see who you meet. Chances are that this week you will come across some faces from the past. For bent, the mysterious artist responsible for many magical happenings around the city, from giant pigeons to miniature box cities, has been busy reuniting people of the past with… Read more »

Earlier this year we welcomed Ngāti Toa Rangatira into Te Papa to fill our iwi gallery and to be our iwi in residence for two and a half years. Together with iwi leadership from Ngāti Toa and Te Papa, the exhibition ‘Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira’, and a host of events have been created for you… Read more »

Taking to the streets lest we forget

Berry and Co Building_02

This week Te Papa, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are  taking our collections to the streets for an outdoor multi-media presentation as part of the Wellington City Council’s First World War commemoration programme. The launch of Lest We Forget on the 16 October marks the 100th anniversary of the departure of 8000 New Zealand troops… Read more »

This week in history: the birth of The Jandal

Fish Jandals designed by DNA, and manufactured by Skellerup Industires, 1995. Rubber, screenprinted fabric, paint. Purchase 2009.

‘The bloke threw such a jandal!’ The only reason a bloke could throw a jandal (aka a tantrum), is because of  Morris Yock of Onehunga. As legend has it, before the 4 October 1957,  there was technically no jandal to throw. In 1957 Yock produced a version of the Japanese sandal in his garage and proudly named it… Read more »

World of WearableArt™ Symposium – register today

Its that time of year again – the colourful World of WearableArt™ has quite literally blown into town this week, ready to paint the town red! Hopefully by the time the competing designers fly in from around the world to see their garments take the stage, today’s gale force winds will have died down to a gentle, welcoming  sea breeze.   Wind,… Read more »

William Gemmell: WWI amputee postively identified

Te Papa holds 28 sepia-toned photographs taken of New Zealand servicemen who were wounded during World War I. None of the men in these photographs are identified. However, thanks to Julie Gemmell of Waikouaiti, we now know that one of the men in two of these photos is William Clement Gemmell, Julie’s grandfather. In the photograph above,… Read more »

Helen Mason (1915-2014)

Helen Mason, Dish, stoneware with slip decoration, about 1960. Purchased 1993. Te Papa

It is with sadness that we farewell Helen Mason, potter, first editor of the New Zealand Potter and great friend and mentor of the craft/arts community. Helen Mason’s involvement in the arts, from the early days of the studio pottery movement to her more recent endeavours, has become legendary. Her early training typified education for… Read more »

The image above is my favourite from a WWI album with photos by NZ soldier Herbert (Bert) Green. The group seems just perfectly composed. There is also the sense of it being two photographs somehow layered together, with another scene unfolding quite independently behind the soldiers. The way the hat of the man at right veers towards… Read more »