The Gallery of Helen Hitchings – mixing the modern – art and design

‘Helen Hitchings inspecting a self -portrait on display in her Gallery’, circa 1950, by Photo News Ltd (Wellington, N.Z.). Te Papa (CA000124/001/0060)

When Helen Hitchings launched her gallery in 1949, it was a landmark moment for modernism in New Zealand. Te Papa celebrates this event with the exhibition in Ngā Toi /Arts Te Papa with the Gallery of Helen Hitchings. Former advertising assistant and theatre designer, Hitchings had established her dealer gallery in a converted warehouse space… Read more »

Relics from Gallipoli

  • A Turkish attacker’s perspective of the crest of Chunuk Bair looking up towards the Chunuk Bair cemetery on the eastern slopes. (David Pugsley)
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  • 1914 Australian Shilling, loaned by David Pugsley. Photograph by Norm Heke, Te Papa.
  • A view towards the Anzac area from Battleship Hill with the monument at Lone Pine in the distance. Photo by David Pugsley.

In our latest Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition blog, Historical Director Dr Christopher Pugsley recalls uncovering relics from the battlefield. I have walked the Anzac battlefields of Gallipoli many times. The first was in December 1980 and then again in 1983. It was not until 1990 that I travelled there for the third time,… Read more »

Artist Fiona Connor’s Can Do Academy

Fiona Connor, 'Can do academy #3', 2014. Purchased 2015, Te Papa ( 2015-0004-1)

Contemporary New Zealand artist Fiona Connor’s art work Can do academy #3, 2004, is currently on display as part of Splash! Four Contemporary New Zealand Paintings up in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 at Te Papa. I recently spoke to Fiona on the phone from her home in the Miracle Mile district… Read more »

Reusing Te Papa’s collections images, by the numbers

Abacus, circa 1900, China, maker unknown. Gift of Graham Sinclair, 1995. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH004352)

In June last year we began making high-resolution images available for download, for collection items where copyright (or cultural rights) would allow us. We went live with 14,000 images under a Creative Commons licence, and 17,000 under No Known Copyright Restrictions statement. You can find out a bit more about what those statements mean on… Read more »

Recreating the sounds of Māori at Gallipoli

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In what is probably a first for an exhibition like this Gallipoli: The scale of our war  (opening April 18) has its very own soundtrack and score to enhance the visitor experience. In this blog Te Papa researcher Amber Aranui talks about recreating the sounds of Māori at Gallipoli. For the part of the exhibition that… Read more »

Prints fit for a prince: a missive to Prince Charles

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                    Sir, I realise that your punishing royal itinerary regrettably prevents any visit to these far-flung shores during Nga Toi Season 4. Nor does our digital technology as yet permit a truly intimate interaction with the delightful art works discussed below. However, I trust that this blog goes some way towards wafting you into a… Read more »

Share your Cook Islands tīvaevae and other textile treasures…

Chest of tivaevae, circa 1992, Cook Islands, by John Daley. Gift of John Daley, 2012. Te Papa (CT.063556)

‘Glory box’ is not a term we use a lot today, yet for Cook Island women these large storage chests have stored collections of treasured tīvaevae (quilts) since the 1800s. While tīvaevae can be used as bed covers, many are presented as gifts from family members at important life events such as twenty first birthdays… Read more »

On getting in touch about family photographs

Edward and Sarah Corner, Frank Sutcliffe (UK), 1901, cabinet card, courtesy of Ann McDonald.

  One of the nicest things about having so much of Te Papa’s photography collection online is when people write in to say that we hold a photograph of some of their ancestors and are able to identify the people in the photographs. Until recently this large framed photograph of the Read family (above) was… Read more »

Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »