Dusky Sound – rich in history and wildlife

  • Mottled petrel, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa
  • Flax weevil (Anagotus fairburni), Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa
  • Adult tawaki / Fiordland crested penguin, Dusky Sound, November 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Kakapo on Anchor Island, November 2016. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa

A team of Te Papa scientists recently visited Dusky Sound as the first stage in an investigation of changes in biodiversity since Cook’s visit in 1773. Cook named the area ‘Dusky Bay’ when he sailed past on his first voyage in March 1770, and explored the sound and its wildlife more thoroughly during a 6-week… Read more »

Feather identification workshop, Whanganui Regional Museum

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In a collaboration between National Services Te Paerangi and Whanganui Regional Museum, Te Papa’s bicultural researcher Hokimate Harwood brought her extensive feather identification skills to a community of 30 weavers and bird enthusiasts earlier this year. Hokimate’s feather identification research looks to decode materials and messages within kākahu | feather cloaks. This means bringing together… Read more »

The changing art of tatau: Samoan tattooing

Two Samoan men tattoo a man lying on the floor

Currently on level 5 at Te Papa, the exhibition Whakarakei | Adorned, brings together paintings, prints, and cultural treasures to explore the art of adornment in Māori and Pacific cultures. In the latest issue of Te Papa’s online art magazine, Off the wall, Rebecca Rice and Nina Tonga asked Sean Mallon, Senior Curator Pacific Cultures,… Read more »

It’s that time of year again when people start planning to get into the great outdoors. In particular, it’s the season for walking the Te Araroa Trail, the pathway from Cape Reinga in the North Island to Bluff in the South Island, some 3,000 km. I hiked the South Island leg early this year myself,… Read more »

Ten splendid objects

Colourful dish

Curator decorative art and design Justine Olsen chooses her top ten objects exhibited in European Splendour: 1500–1800. The objects below are mainly decorative and through them we see changes in style, materials, and techniques. They offer a valuable insights into a bygone age and highlight the impact of religion, trade, culture, and the way European society viewed itself…. Read more »

Bug Lab: an educator’s role in creating a blockbuster exhibition

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Museum education specialist Donald James talks about the new Bug Lab exhibition coming to Te Papa on 10 Dec 2016 and introduces a brand new learning resource for teachers. How do you make an exhibition relevant for up to 10 years on 4 different continents? It must activate curious minds, reward inquisitiveness, and inspire wonder…. Read more »

Picking a pocket…or two

Intern Keira Miller in the lab, preparing materials for dyeing. Photo by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Have you ever thought about the history of the humble pocket?  This past winter, Keira Miller, an intern from the University of Glasgow’s Center for Textile Conservation, helped us with the treatment of some detachable 18th century pockets for the exhibition European Splendour 1500-1800.   Keira writes about the importance of pockets in 18th century fashion and the… Read more »

How are books printed?

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Have you ever wondered how exactly a modern book is printed? Well, below is a series of photographs showing some of what goes on when a book is on the printing press. In August I travelled to Hong Kong at the invitation of the Asia Society to oversee the printing of their exhibition catalogue Picturing Asia:… Read more »

Picturing Asia: The Photography of Brian Brake and Steve McCurry

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Recently a photography exhibition titled Picturing Asia: Double Take – The Photography of Brian Brake and Steve McCurry opened at the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Te Papa is one of the partners with the Asia Society in developing this exhibition, as the Brake images are all drawn from Te Papa’s collection. Why Brian Brake and… Read more »