Posts categorized as History

Prints fit for a prince: a missive to Prince Charles

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                    Sir, I realise that your punishing royal itinerary regrettably prevents any visit to these far-flung shores during Nga Toi Season 4. Nor does our digital technology as yet permit a truly intimate interaction with the delightful art works discussed below. However, I trust that this blog goes some way towards wafting you into a… Read more »

Share your Cook Islands tīvaevae and other textile treasures…

Chest of tivaevae, circa 1992, Cook Islands, by John Daley. Gift of John Daley, 2012. Te Papa (CT.063556)

‘Glory box’ is not a term we use a lot today, yet for Cook Island women these large storage chests have stored collections of treasured tīvaevae (quilts) since the 1800s. While tīvaevae can be used as bed covers, many are presented as gifts from family members at important life events such as twenty first birthdays… Read more »

On getting in touch about family photographs

Edward and Sarah Corner, Frank Sutcliffe (UK), 1901, cabinet card, courtesy of Ann McDonald.

  One of the nicest things about having so much of Te Papa’s photography collection online is when people write in to say that we hold a photograph of some of their ancestors and are able to identify the people in the photographs. Until recently this large framed photograph of the Read family (above) was… Read more »

Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »

Peter Stichbury (1924-2015)

Peter Stichbury, 1972, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (O.027680)

To commemorate the life of the late New Zealand potter Peter Stichbury our curator of art and design Justine Olsen looks back over his life’s work. It is with great sadness that we farewell Peter Stichbury – the last of the Leach generation of New Zealand studio potters. Equally at home behind his wheel or firing the… Read more »

Maori soldiers that served at Gallipoli

Sons of Lawrence Marshall Grace and Te Kahui Grace. Photograph taken in 1911 by S P Andrew Ltd. From left: Haami, Lawrence, Richard. Photo courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library.

In our second blog ahead of our new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18, Maori curator Puawai Cairns reveals some of her research into a Maori soldier that served at Gallipoli. Unlike many of the other Maori soldiers I researched for this exhibition, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marshall Percy Grace (10/127… Read more »

The significance of March 18 in the history of WW1


A month today Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opens to the public. Keep an eye out each Wednesday over the next couple of months for a new blog from the team working on creating this exhibition. To kick things off, we’ve got a post from History Curator Michael Fitzgerald on the… Read more »

Fierce and fabulous: the NZ Dance Company comes to Te Papa

Photograph by JohnMcDermott. Dancers TupuaTigafua and HannahTasker-Poland_Dncrs

This week Te Papa is thrilled to be hosting the New Zealand Dance Company who are bringing their acclaimed full-length dance-piece Rotunda to Soundings Theatre. Described as ‘another fierce and fabulous strike for professional and profound contemporary dance in New Zealand’ (Bernadette Rae, The NZ Herald), Rotunda has been created by created by Shona McCullagh (Artistic Director) and… Read more »

Expedition and Rescue: Te Papa’s Medals

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A relatively little known but fascinating area of Te Papa’s vast collection is its coins and medals. Medals are not only used to recognise military achievements – many of the medals in the collection, and those that I have been looking at, commemorate other events and achievements. Some medals were made to honour a person’s life,… Read more »

Memories are made of this: recycling Christchurch

Rekindle table

Remembering comes in many different forms. In Te Papa’s commemorative display Remember: the Canterbury Earthquakes, we feature a number of beautiful objects made from materials salvaged from the quake damaged city – they are ‘material memories’. As people rebuild their lives, homes and businesses, many are seeking to incorporate elements of ‘old Christchurch’ into their… Read more »