Posts categorized as Photography

Climb every mountain

Brian Brake grew up in Arthur’s Pass and retained a love of New Zealand’s mountains all his life.  He took hundreds of photographs of South Island peaks, lakes and rivers.   If you’re an alpine enthusiast, a keen tramper, or you know the South Island well, please take a look and let us know if you can name any… Read more »

From the Our Space engine room……

Scrolling through the thousands of images you have sent us over the past few years there are certain favourites that continue to delight not just the moderators but the majority of visitors too. You will probably know them already – we see the perennials constantly returning to the ‘most viewed’ images on the Wall. Possibly… Read more »

‘Vacant lot of cabbages’ documentation enters Te Papa’s archives

  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.

In 1978 contemporary New Zealand artist Barry Thomas undertook a public art project in inner city Wellington. Utilising a vacant lot on the corner of Willis and Manners Streets, the artist and his friends cut through a wire perimeter fence, delivered a truckload of top soil to the site and planted 180 cabbages. The project… Read more »

Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau: Tokelau Language Week

This week is the inaugural Tokelau Language Week (29 October – 4 November). The theme is Ke mau ki pale o Tokelau: Hold fast to the treasures of Tokelau. To celebrate, the Pacific Cultures team will post a blog each day highlighting cultural treasures from Tokelau in Te Papa’s collections. Today, in this first blog… Read more »

A slice of Wellington life: the Berry & Co collection

  • Photographing a Berry & Co glass plate negative.  We use a Phase I P40 camera and Schneider 110 lens, used with extension tube, with a 40MB back.  This gives us a 38MB digital image, which is our ‘access master’ size.  Photograph Michael Hall, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • Negatives can be difficult to ‘read’, so creating a positive digital image makes it easier for us to improve our catalogue data, for example by using clothing details to estimate the date the photograph was taken.

Te Papa has a collection of nearly 4,000 glass plate and film negatives taken by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co.  The studio was founded by William Berry in 1897, and operated in Cuba St until 1931.  The negatives are mainly portraits – of families, children, men and women, soldiers in uniform, the occasional… Read more »

Giving matters – David Carson-Parker (1932-2012)

One of the most generous ways museums acquire items for their collections is from individuals donating things they have made for the benefit of others. This is one way that unique material becomes available to the public and especially to researchers. It is in this spirit that David Carson-Parker, who died 21 October, donated many… Read more »

Laughing boy

It is not often I come across early photographs that capture pure joy like this one does. Too young to find the serious appeals of the photographer’s command to “keep still” anything other than funny, this infant boy’s laughter dominates the image and projects a good sense of fun about the activity of having one’s… Read more »

Niue: the Rock of Polynesia

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. Today, in this second blog post we offer a short environmental profile of the Niue, sometimes referred to by locals as “The Rock of Polynesia”. We finish with… Read more »

Do you know this building?

 Te Papa has an enormous collection of photographs, negatives and transparencies by Brian Brake (1927 – 88), one of New Zealand’s best known photographers.  Brake became famous while working overseas as a photojournalist – one of his best known works is the Monsoon photo essay, which he took in 1960.  He also photographed extensively in… Read more »