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


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 »

‘Citizen Art’ – Miniature Hikes: the book

The recently launched book resulting from the Miniature Hikes public art project.

Citizen science is all the rage right now in New Zealand, especially given its emphasis in the National Science Challenges and Science and Society project. Getting the public participating in science experiments is seen as a way to get them engaged in science. Te Papa is currently running its own citizen science project, in conjunction… Read more »

8000 images on New Zealand Birds Online

  • Immature pomarine skua at sea off North Cape, March 2014.  Image: Les Feasey, NZ Birds Online
  • New Zealand's first buff-breasted sandpiper, Papakanui spit, Kaipara Harbour, March 2014.  Image: Ian Southey, NZ Birds Online
  • Stewart Island kiwi, March 2015.  Image: Glenda Rees, NZ Birds Online
  • Southern black-backed gull nest containing an egg and young chick, Awarua Bay, January 2015. Image: Glenda Rees, NZ Birds Online

The Te Papa-hosted website New Zealand Birds Online has passed a significant milestone, with the 8000th image loaded late on 29 March. Most of the images on the website have been sourced from amateur or semi-professional photographers, who have generously supported the project from the outset. At the time of the launch in June 2013,… Read more »