Posts categorized as History

Feather identification workshop, Whanganui Regional Museum

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In a collaboration between National Services Te Paerangi and Whanganui Regional Museum, Te Papa’s bicultural researcher Hokimate Harwood brought her extensive feather identification skills to a community of 30 weavers and bird enthusiasts earlier this year. Hokimate’s feather identification research looks to decode materials and messages within kākahu | feather cloaks. This means bringing together… Read more »

The changing art of tatau: Samoan tattooing

Two Samoan men tattoo a man lying on the floor

Rebecca Rice and Nina Tonga asked Sean Mallon, Senior Curator Pacific Cultures, some questions about Samoan tatau, a form of adornment still practised today. Tools Q: In Whakarakei | Adorned the tools of a tufuga tatatau (specialist in tatau) ‘au and sausau (Samoan tattooing combs and mallet) are on show. How do these tools differ… Read more »

Ten splendid objects

Colourful dish

Curator decorative art and design Justine Olsen chooses her top ten objects exhibited in European Splendour: 1500–1800. The objects below are mainly decorative and through them we see changes in style, materials, and techniques. They offer a valuable insights into a bygone age and highlight the impact of religion, trade, culture, and the way European society viewed itself…. Read more »

Picking a pocket…or two

Intern Keira Miller in the lab, preparing materials for dyeing. Photo by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Have you ever thought about the history of the humble pocket?  This past winter, Keira Miller, an intern from the University of Glasgow’s Center for Textile Conservation, helped us with the treatment of some detachable 18th century pockets for the exhibition European Splendour 1500-1800.   Keira writes about the importance of pockets in 18th century fashion and the… Read more »

A ‘gamble in human life’: military conscription begins 100 years ago

End view of box used in conscription ballots from 1916-1918

In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. History curator Kirstie Ross takes a look at conscription – introduced 100 years ago to ensure a constant supply of New Zealand soldiers for military service in the… Read more »

Art and Democracy

  • No bus shelter, 1960, by Lois White. Te Papa (1972-0002-1)
  • Aufruhr (Uprising) from Ein Weberaufstand (Weavers' Revolt), 1899, by Käthe Kollwitz. Te Papa (1981-0034-2)
  • Les bêcheurs (The diggers); 1855-1856; Millet, Jean-François; etching and aquatint in brown-black ink with surface tone; paper; etching; France
  • The pancake woman, 1635, by Rembrandt van Rijn Gift of Bishop Monrad, 1869. Te Papa (1869-0001-415)

In this blog, Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, explores the slippery links between art and democracy Following the very recent presidential elections in the world’s second biggest democracy (don’t forget India!) it makes sense to explore the connections between art and that system of government. Victoria Coates, who combines being senior foreign policy… Read more »

Design students inspired by Te Papa’s collections

Botanical inspired placement embroideries by Verity Morison, Fern Grant and Lauren Ewan, 2016. Photo by Claire Regnault.

Each year, the history curators take design students from Massey University though Te Papa’s collections behind the scenes. The students choose an item to inspire their own design and it’s around this time of year we see what they’ve created. Curator Claire Regnault shares some of the fabulous designs.  Refashioning the national wardrobe Each July students from Massey University’s second… Read more »

Curator Claire Regnault discusses the declaration that ‘fashion is dead’ – a question at the heart of this year’s End of Fashion conference, hosted in Wellington. In 2015 Li Edelkoort, a highly regarded trend forecaster, made international headlines with her declaration that fashion is dead. To support her claims she published an anti-fashion manifesto in which she… Read more »

David Riley, who works in our Digital Collections and Access team, is digitising 190 film reels – the contents of which hasn’t been seen for 70 years. Find out what he’s found so far. Discovering the film reels Since joining Te Papa I have been curious about a collection of 16mm and 8mm films stored… Read more »