Posts categorized as Pacific

The Conservation of Poedua: Part 4

  • spliced image
  • Surface Cleaning
  • surface cleaning
  • MCP

Now that we have cleaned the back of the canvas we can look at surface cleaning the front of the painting.  This is a separate procedure from the removal of varnish and overpaints and is completed first because surface dirt is the first layer encountered.  The reason we remove the dirt layer on paintings is because it… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 3

  • In the centre of this photo the canvas has a grey appearance where it is yet to be cleaned.  The P of Poedua has been cleaned and is clearer and easier to read.  Photograph by Katherine Campbell, 2011. © Te Papa
  • As I hold the painting, Katherine uses a palette knife to gently dislodge dust and debris caught between the stretcher member and the canvas.  A pile of dust can be seen on the table top.  Photograph by Matthew O'Reilly, 2011. © Te Papa
  • Katherine cleaning the reverse of the canvas
  • Dusting the reverse of the canvas with a brush and indirect vacuum.  Photograph taken by Katherine Campbell, 2011. © Te Papa

After completing our technical examination of the painting, taking lots of pre-treatment photographs and writing the condition report, we write a treatment proposal for the painting.  We consider the current condition of the painting and what we would like to achieve with different treatments.  Our proposal is discussed with the curator and together we outline… Read more »

Conservation of Poedua, part 2

  • Poedua inscription
  • Poedua inscription
  • cropped inscription
  • Inscription

Poedua is an oil painting on stretched canvas, meaning the composition is painted on a fabric support which is stretched to keep it evenly tensioned, over an expandable wooden stretcher.  Canvas supports began to replace traditional wooden panel supports from about the 16th century and were the most commonly used type of support by the 18th… Read more »

The conservation of Poedua – part 1

  • Ultra-violet photograph of Poedua, 2011, Photograph by Melanie Carlisle © Te Papa
  • Ultra-violet photograph of the painting, 2011, Photograph by Melanie Carlisle. © Te Papa
  • Infrared photograph - detail, 2011, Photograph by Michael Hall. MA_I227737. © Te Papa
  • Katherine examining the painting with a hand-held microscope

Welcome to the first blog to keep you up-to-date with the conservation treatment of John Webber’s portrait of Poedua.  Katherine Campbell and I, the two paintings conservators here at Te Papa, will aim to post fortnightly on the progress of our work, offering you insight into what happens to a painting during a conservation treatment…. Read more »

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural 2011 Māori and Pacific Textile… Read more »

Documenting Samoan to’i ma’a (stone adzes)

Roger Rasmussen, 2009

Since 2009, Roger Rasmussen, alongside his role as a Te Papa host, has vounteered to re-house, measure and photograph a collection of to’i ma’a (stone adze)  from Samoa which were gifted to the museum by Rhys Richards in 1991. Because of Roger’s important work, the images of the collection are now available for viewing on Collections Online. In May last… Read more »

‘Pacific princess’ – one painting, so many stories

MP Charles Chauvel at the blessing for Poedua.

The blessing for the painting of Poedua (Poetua), a princess from the Society Islands, by John Webber (1751-1793) was a much needed bright spot at Te Papa last week – a week when New Zealand reeled from news of the Pike River mining disaster. This remarkable painting, recently purchased by Te Papa, has lots of stories to tell… Read more »

A striking acquisition

This striking work Look Within 2 (2007) by Papua New Guinea artist Daniel Waswas is the latest addition to Te Papa’s collection of contemporary Pacific artworks. It depicts four images of the same person, conveying a message of self reflection and addressing the idea of identity from within one’s own background. In 2009, the painting… Read more »

Paperskin exhibition – last two days

Hiapo, 1800s, Niue, Te Papa collection. Copyright Te Papa, 2010.

Paperskin – the art of tapa cloth is closing this weekend, on Sunday 12 September.  If you haven’t been to see these amazing tapa works, now is the time to come into Te Papa. It will also be your last chance for some time to see the 22 metre Tongan ngatu (tapa), made in 1953 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth… Read more »