20th century history mixtape: ‘B’ side

Record - "Hit Tunes" by Johnny Devlin, circa 1958, New Zealand, by Johnny Devlin, Southern Music. Purchased 2001 with New Zealand Lotteries Grant funds. Te Papa (GH009364)

Slice of Heaven: 20th Century Aotearoa is Te Papa’s exhibition about four crucial social and political changes that occurred in New Zealand after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and before the millennial panic of ‘Y2K’ (‘Year 2000’). I hope that the exhibition, which closes on 23rd January to make room for the new… Read more »

Sunshine, fishing – and changes in Coromandel birdlife over 45 years

  • Papa Aroha beach. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Brown teal, Papa Aroha, December 2016. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Part of the Motukawao island group. Gannets nest on Motukaramarama (Bush) Island on the left. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • Spotted shags, Firth of Thames. Image: Jenny Atkins, NZ Birds Online

From welcome swallows to Australian magpies, bird expert Colin Miskelly looks at the variety of birdlife who’ve come to call Coromandel home over the past half-century. Spending the summer at the beach is part of the great New Zealand holiday tradition. For many families, attachment to a particular location results in them returning to the… Read more »

The treasures of Broadgreen Historic House

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Conservator Anne Peranteau visited Broadgreen, an historic house in the Stoke neighborhood, to give some advice on the display and storage of collection items. Anne tells us about some of her favourite items in the Broadgreen collections.  Last month I filled my suitcase with my tricks of the trade and headed to Nelson. I brought an assortment of… Read more »

Collecting is in our bones: our youngest exhibitor shares his story

Eric and his mum stand beside some of his dinosaur collection

From tin toys to antique Chinese wood figures, Star Wars memorabilia and elephants – for the past 18 years, Te Papa has displayed peoples’ precious collections in Inspiration Station, one of four children’s discovery centres in the museum. But this summer will be the last chance for visitors to see items collected by the public on… Read more »

20th century history mixtape: ‘A’ side

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Slice of Heaven: 20th Century Aotearoa is Te Papa’s exhibition about life in New Zealand after the death of Queen Victoria and before the unnecessary panic of Y2K (‘Year 2000’). It’s closing on 23rd January to make room for the new art gallery spaces that are opening at the end of 2017. I’ve selected, as… Read more »

All I want for Christmas is Ngā Toi

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All I want for Christmas is … Te Papa’s Hosts present some of this season’s art works in their very own Ngā Toi Christmas wish list! The current season of Ngā Toi has a great variety of artworks, from 300-hundred-year-old dresses and beloved iconic New Zealand paintings to a musical washing machine and an endoskeleton… Read more »

Pukerua Bay School Museum visit the Conservation Lab

Pukerua Bay School Museum with Te Papa team, Photograph by Amanda Rodgers, Te Papa

Aurelia, Paddy and Isaac visited Te Papa’s conservation team to find out all about picture framing and paper and painting conservation. Our friends from Pukerua Bay School Museum have recently created their own YouTube channel to help them reach out to their audiences. One of our favourite videos, so far, has involved the children explaining the process of restoring… Read more »

How to create a high tech Learning Lab in a museum

Students in the Learning Lab at Te Papa

Educator Matt Richards talks about his experience creating a Learning Lab for Te Papa and seeing students engage with the space for the first time.  Nine months ago I was employed by Te Papa to create a Learning Lab. Te Papa wanted to remake its classroom space into an innovative high tech learning environment and provide… Read more »

The history of Christmas dinner in New Zealand

Cheslyn Rise - Christmas dinner, circa 1920, by Leslie Adkin. Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Te Papa (B.022885)

With festive eatables on everyone’s mind at this time of year, history curator Katie Cooper traces the history of the Christmas dinner in New Zealand, and considers how our antipodean Yuletide has changed since its first celebration in 1642. The First Festive Feasts Abel Tasman and the crews of the Heemskerck and Zeehaen were the… Read more »

Opinion: why we should beware of the word ‘traditional’

Portrait of Albert Wendt; 1996; Photographer: Hamish McDonald

In 1994, four years before the opening of Te Papa, Samoan novelist and scholar Albert Wendt was an advisor for the planned Pacific exhibitions. He requested that we abandon the use of terms like ‘traditional art’ in our labels and display signage. ‘Traditional means nothing to me!’ he said. At the time, I didn’t understand… Read more »