Posts categorized as History

Sweden and modernism in New Zealand: identifying connections

  • Webbing provided comfort for the sitter within the bentwood laminated structure
  • The ‘jon jansen’ stamp appears on the inside of the back rail
  • Impressed marks show the signature of Mathsson and the manufacturer DUX
  • Work Chair by Bruno Mathsson

When Te Papa purchased Easy Chair two years ago, we acquired it for its associations with modernism and with the Auckland store jon jansen. But we wanted to verify the designer. Detailed research – surveying design publications, comparing similar chairs, identifying woods – finally led me to the original Swedish designer. Jon jansen made and… Read more »

February 1943: This month last century

70 years ago, 48 Japanese prisoners of war are killed during a riot at the Featherston prisoner of war camp (25 February 1943) From 1942, Japanese prisoners of war were brought to New Zealand and interned at the camp at Featherston, in the Wairarapa. This camp had previously been used as a military training camp during WWI. The… Read more »

The Canterbury earthquakes: a small act of kindness

  • This Too Will Pass by Sarah Read, 2012. Te Papa.
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  • This Too Will Pass ny Sarah Read

12.51pm today marks the second anniversary of the 6.3 earthquake that caused severe damage and resulted in the loss of 185 lives in Christchurch and its suburbs, with many more injured and displaced. Two years on the citizens of Canterbury are still struggling to rebuild their city and lives. While stories of frustrations with bureaucracy… Read more »

January 1900 – This month last century

St Joseph’s Home for Incurable opens 113 years ago (29 January 1900) This home for so-called ‘incurables’, in Buckle Street, Wellington, was an initiative set up by Reverend Mother Mary Joseph Aubert, with the help of Catholic nuns, the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Mother Aubert was the founder of this religious congregation, in… Read more »

Hunting henriettas on Ruapuke Island – on the tail of New Zealand’s first mice

Henrietta Bay on the south coast of Ruapuke Island. The cannon is claimed to have come from the Elizabeth Henrietta. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Few people are aware of Ruapuke Island. Guarding the eastern approaches to Foveaux Strait, the 1600 ha island is large enough to appear as a smudge of colour at the very bottom of TV3’s weather map. Yet the island’s low relief means that passengers on the Stewart Island ferry 20 km to the west barely… Read more »

Rātana Church and Mita Ririnui: The Colours of Service

  • Filming Mita Ririnui in Te Papa studio. June 2012. Photographer Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa Tongarewa 2012.
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  • Decoding the Āpotoro Rēhita robes

ME024090; Āpotoro Rēhita Haahi Rātana Kākahu (Registered Apostle Ratana Church religious clothing) Continuing the blogging about some of the key uniforms and acquisitions for the Uniformity exhibition, this blog is going to talk about one of my favourite uniforms in the show: the robes of an Āpotoro Rēhita from the Rātana Church and a uniform… Read more »

December 1941: This month last century

Seventy one years ago, New Zealand declares war on Japan after the bombing of the US naval bases at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii (8 December 1941) The bombing of Pearl Harbour set the Pacific War in motion. This event and Japan’s subsequent expansion through the Philippines, Thailand and the Malaysian peninsula, followed by the capture of… Read more »

Birds of a feather

  • Page from the British Museum's 1970 guide for collectors on preparing bird skins.
  • DEAD SET POSTER | PUKEKO, offset print on 170gsm
  • DEAD SET | MIROMIRO SCARF, digital print on silk/cotton
  • DEAD SET | KOTARE CUSHION, Digital print on hemp / organic cotton

The Te Papa Store has just taken possession of a range of new stock inspired by the museum’s natural history collection. Dead Set is by textile designer Genevieve Packer, and is based on Te Papa’s haunting and strange collection of bird skins.   For the novice, of which I am in the case of natural history, bird skins are… Read more »

Redcoated ancestor

  • Sergeant John Smith Jackson, late 1880s-90s. Photograph courtesy of Beatrice Jackson and Pat McAllister.
  • The tunic on display in 'Uniformity', level 4, Te Papa.
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  • Graham Jackson and Matt Raines checking out Sergeant John Smith Jackson’s uniform, 2012.

Graham Jackson and his grandson Mathew Jackson Raines were thrilled to see the uniform of their ancestor Sergeant John Smith Jackson (1870-1963) on display in Uniformity: Cracking the dress code at Te Papa recently. Sergeant Jackson is Graham’s grandfather and Matt’s great-great grandfather. As a young man, John Smith Jackson joined the Gordon Highlanders – a… Read more »