Posts categorized as History

Barry Brickell (1935-2016)

[Barry Brickell], 1956, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (F.009393)

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to an extraordinary New Zealander – potter, artist, railway enthusiast, conservationist and a self confessed ‘practical visionary’. Our condolences go to Barry’s family and many friends. Barry was a second generation studio potter, following the pioneering achievements of potters including Len Castle who mentored Barry as a… Read more »

Painting by numbers: creating a colonial masterpiece

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as budding artists were more often preoccupied… Read more »

Lecture by visiting fashion historian Alexandra Palmer

Alexandra Palmer

On Tuesday 9 February, 2016 at 6pm Dr Alexandra Palmer of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada will present a lecture at Massey University, Wellington on ‘Frock coats, redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum 1909-2016’. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is similar to Te Papa in that its collections span the intertwined worlds of natural history and… Read more »

Silent Night

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  • A painted notice to assist the evacuation of Anzac Cove, December 1915. Photograph by Norman Henry Prior. Wairarapa Archives (11-72/4-2-23.digital)
  • Saying goodbye to mates before leaving Gallipoli. Photo by Norman Prior. Wairarapa Archive

100 years ago in the early hours of 20 December 1915 the last party of New Zealand men left Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. The campaign was over. For those of us who worked on the exhibition, Gallipoli: The scale of our war, the stories of the Anzacs’ tenuous presence there from April to December 1915 are… Read more »

Licking the Old Masters: The First New Zealand Christmas Stamps

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To quote Bing Crosby, ‘every Christmas card I write’, would be enveloped and stamped unless the friend or relation receiving it was literally ­close. For me and surely millions of others, the stamp itself needed to be a Christmas one. Notice how I use the past tense. In the days of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter,… Read more »

World AIDS Day

New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDs, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died. Te Papa holds the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt which is made up of 16 large blocks of usually 8… Read more »

Sir James Hector, Hector’s dolphin and Taniwhasaurus

  • The new species of Asplenium fern. Photograph by Leon Perrie, Te Papa
  • Dr James Hector, circa 1868, Wellington, by James Wrigglesworth. Purchased 1916. Te Papa (O.013163)
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  • Hector's dolphin. Image: Steve Dawson, New Zealand Dolphin Trust

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?! 150 years of scientific discovery at Te Papa’ will be open on Level 3 from late November 2015 until the end of 2016. The exhibition, and… Read more »

The Great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz!

Digital StillCamera

  As promised, here is the great Ngā Toi Quiz! Prizes include: goodies from Ngā Toi store, Belgian chocolates and possibly something liquid! Answer EACH of the following: 1. Where can you find a frightening notice about a murder? 2. Which art work daringly depicts two women lovers? 3. There’s a Picasso in one art work. … Read more »

Curator’s Picks from the new Ngā Toi/ Arts Te Papa

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  • Maori combat with Taiaha and Mere 1906 McDonald James - photocopy
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Even before you arrive here, you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet: a massively enlarged version of Alfred Burton’s Milford Sound: Cascade from Mitre wittily tumbles down the steps to Level 4. You must bravely navigate the cascade, as a real treat awaits you! Best painting? This must be Strutt! His View of Mt Egmont,… Read more »