Posts categorized as Photography

Recalling the splendour of Samoan oratory: Lauaki Namulau’ulu Mamoe

To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Sämoa (Sämoan language week) the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Sämoa. This image of Lauaki Namulau’ulu Mamoe (b. 1850s? – d. 1915) taken by photographer Thomas Andrew is dated 1909. This was the same year Lauaki was exiled to Saipan, in the Northern… Read more »

The Berry Boys – Photos featuring New Zealand World War One Soldiers

Te Papa has a wonderful collection of 172 portraits on glass plate negatives featuring World War One soldiers. These images were taken at the Berry & Co. photography studio in Wellington between about 1914 and 1919. The men in these images were about to enter into a life-changing event. Some would survive, a large number would… Read more »

Nodding cat

Sometimes there is little information about some of the photographs in the collection. I love this image. It was taken in the 1930s by Marion Kirker (1879-1971). Yet I wonder: who is the man? Is it his cat? Why photograph them? What is the cat looking at? The man seems to be holding onto the… Read more »

Out of all Proportion: Gavin Hipkins in ‘Collecting Contemporary’

The shaman

When I first saw Gavin Hipkin’s The shaman (blue), currently on display in Collecting Contemporary on Level 5, it was as a digital image emailed by his dealer. I was struck by the ambiguity of the photograph. The stunning, pale blue background is almost featureless, and like the blue or green-screen used to create special… Read more »

W F Gordon’s Taranaki land war photographs

Early last century, New Plymouth man William Gordon assembled a photographic record of people (both Māori and European) who served in the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. The Dominion Museum (Te Papa’s second predecessor) purchased the photographs in 1916 as part of the Gordon Collection. Recently, I have been working on improving the documentation… Read more »