Reunion Island to Crozet Islands

  • Marion Dufresne
  • Les fromage du Marion Dufresne. Image Colin Miskelly, copyright IPEV/Te Papa
  • Empty ocean – sunset over the southern Indian Ocean. Image Colin Miskelly, copyright IPEV/Te Papa
  • Wandering albatross (female). Image Colin Miskelly, copyright IPEV/Te Papa

Te Papa curator of vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly’s participation in seabird research programmes on the French subantarctic island groups of Crozet and Kerguelen was at the invitation of Dr Charly Bost of the CEBC laboratory (Chizé) of CNRS (Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique), France, and was supported by the Institut Polar Français Paul Emile… Read more »

The market at Savalalo, Apia – collecting and recollecting

maketi 6

This past weekend there was a large fire in the flea market at Savalalo in Apia, Samoa. The entire building was destroyed and with it the livelihood of many vendors and their families. The maketi (market) was a local landmark and an important part of my experience of Samoa as a visitor and tourist. It was… Read more »

Life and death among the Barau’s petrels of Reunion Island

  • Barau’s petrel on colony surface at night. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Life + Petrel. Life the petrel dog with a Barau’s petrel burrow he discovered. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus, introduced to Reunion Island). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Marbled toad (Amietophrynus gutturalis, also introduced). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Te Papa curator of vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly visited Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean en route to the French subantarctic territories of Crozet and Kerguelen Islands. His visit to the Barau’s petrel colony was hosted by Reunion Parc National and the Life + Petrel project. Few New Zealanders had heard of Reunion Island before… Read more »

Remembering Melvin Day 1923-2016

Coastline by Day, Melvin. 1964, London.  Oil on canvas. Purchased 1972. Te Papa (1972-0023-1)

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Melvin (Pat) Day on 17 January.  Pat was a well-known Wellington artist who was at the forefront of developments in abstraction and cubism during the 1940s and 1950s. Most importantly for Te Papa, he was also the director of the National Art Gallery from 1968 to… Read more »

Help name a new species

The new fern species grows on limestone and similar rocks in the north-west South Island. Photo © Leon Perrie.

The You Called Me What?! exhibition celebrates 150 years of scientific discovery at Te Papa. A big part of this has been the scientific naming of more than 2500 animal and plant species by museum staff since 1865. We’re now giving you the opportunity to be involved. The exhibition will showcase several of the new… Read more »

Painting by numbers: creating a colonial masterpiece

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as budding artists were more often preoccupied… Read more »

Lecture by visiting fashion historian Alexandra Palmer

Alexandra Palmer

On Tuesday 9 February, 2016 at 6pm Dr Alexandra Palmer of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada will present a lecture at Massey University, Wellington on ‘Frock coats, redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum 1909-2016’. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is similar to Te Papa in that its collections span the intertwined worlds of natural history and… Read more »

Using DNA to trace the pre-European planting of karaka

Robin Atherton with the distinctive fruit of karaka. Robin studied karaka genetics for her PhD at Massey University and is a co-author on the new study. Photo credit: Robin Atherton

Karaka, with its large shiny leaves and bright orange fruit, is one of New Zealand’s most distinctive trees. But in pre-European New Zealand, karaka was much more than just a handsome tree – the kernels of its fruit provided an important food source for Māori. This was despite the poisonous kernels requiring considerable treatment before… Read more »

Pacific Cultures: Our Year in Numbers and Storeroom Selfies!

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It has been another busy year for the Pacific Cultures team. This year as part of Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa we opened Tīvaevae: Out of the Glory Box, Te Papa’s first exhibition of Cook Islands tīvaevae. We have also worked to have have more of our collection available online and in person through exhibitions such… Read more »