Robert Falla and the Westland petrel

  • Westland petrel (Procellaria westlandica), Paparoa National Park. Image: Colin Miskelly, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Robert Falla at his desk in the Dominion Museum, watched over by a spotted shag. Image: Te Papa MA_B.016181
  • White-capped mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta steadi). Image: Colin Miskelly, New Zealand Birds Online
  • The three versions of the Falla, Sibson, turbot field guide, published between 1966 and 1990. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

The museum’s fifth Director became our second knight. Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end of 2016. The exhibition, and this series of blogs, explore… Read more »

Heroines and Homemakers in colonial art

Sarah Featon, Kohekohe 1880, watercolour. Purchased 1919 (1992-0035-2277/76)

As we celebrate the mothers in our lives this coming Sunday, I thought it timely to reflect on some of the remarkable women present in the historical galleries of Ngā Toi │Arts Te Papa. They are present as heroines and homemakers, as artists and as benefactors. They may not have been mothers, but they have… Read more »

Kōrero pūrākau o Matariki: Matariki teaching resource 2016, Part 3 – Storytelling through sand art

Students posing with their sand art. Photograph by Norm Heke. Te Papa

Suitable for: Early childhood, primary, and keen storytellers of any age This is the third and final instalment of our Matariki resource for 2016. In Parts 1 and 2, we introduced the Matariki tradition of kōrero pūrākau (storytelling), and showed how to use creative movement or dance as a meaningful and accessible storytelling medium. In… Read more »

Kōrero pūrākau o Matariki: Matariki teaching resource 2016, Part 2 – Storytelling through dance

Kids get creative with dance at Te Papa. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa

Suitable for: Early childhood, primary, and keen storytellers of any age This is the second instalment of our Matariki resource for 2016. Part 1: Storytelling In Part 1, we explored storytelling as a Māori tradition full of drama, imagery and action. In Part 2, you’ll learn how to bring creative movement and dance into your classroom,… Read more »

Kōrero pūrākau o Matariki: Matariki teaching resource 2016, Part 1 – A tradition of storytelling

Kōrero pūrākau (storytelling) in Te Huka ā Tai Discovery Centre. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa

Suitable for: Early childhood, primary, and keen storytellers of any age This is the first instalment of our Matariki resource for 2016. Celebrate Matariki, the Māori New Year, by learning about te whare tapere (the traditional Māori house of entertainment) and the role of kōrero pūrākau (storytelling). Plus, pick up some activity ideas for use… Read more »

W.R.B. Oliver – jack-of-all-trades and master of most

  • Chatham Island red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis Oliver, 1930) – named by Oliver in his first edition of New Zealand birds. Image: Dave Crouchley, Department of Conservation/New Zealand Birds Online
  • Reginald Oliver collecting plants at Wilmot Pass, Fiordland, March 1927. Image by J.T. Salmon, Dominion Museum. Te Papa (MA_B.014931)
  • Dominion Museum building, 1984 (then known as the National Museum). Image: Mark Strange, Te Papa (MA_B.016888)
  • IShepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver 1937) stranded at Ōteranga Bay, Wellington, September 1998. Photograph by Peter Simpson, Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai (10041750)

Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end of 2016. The exhibition, and this series of blogs, explore the history of the museum by showcasing some… Read more »

Allan Thomson and the Cenozoic brachiopods

  • J. Allan Thomson (1881-1928). Image: Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 10 no. 2
  • Fossil lamp shell (brachiopod) Rhizothyris amygdala Thomson, 1920; holotype BR.001348, Hutchinson's Quarry, Oamaru, greensands
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  • Fossil lamp shell (brachiopod) Pachymagas hectori Thomson, 1920; holotype BR.001339, Landon Creek, near Oamaru, greensands. Named after Allan Thomson’s predecessor as Director of the Colonial Museum (later Dominion Museum), Sir James Hector

Our national museum’s third director was New Zealand’s first Rhodes Scholar, but was cut down in his prime. Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end… Read more »

Max Gimblett and ‘The Art of Remembrance’

  • Large Quatrefoils_02_2
  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • Gimblet Rememberance Upfront_49

On display as part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is an exhibition called The Art of Remembrance, featuring the work of contemporary New Zealand artist Max Gimblett ONZM. This blog post gives some more information about the project and its earlier incarnation as a public art project in Auckland last year.   The exhibition contains… Read more »

St David’s church and the history of the art of remembrance

Detail showing quatrefoils in Max Gimblett's 'Art of Remembrance'. St David's Church, Auckland, 2015 from Art of Remembrance website

Last year, thousands of bronze quatrefoils transformed the exterior of Auckland’s St David’s Presbyterian Church in Khyber Pass (see detail here). This was Max Gimblett’s World War One commemorative project ,‘Remembrance’. The connection between the church and war remembrance has a long history. In 1920, parishioners decided to replace their current place of worship with… Read more »

Augustus Hamilton and the gold-spangled butterfly

  • Hamilton’s black mountain butterfly (Percnodaimon micans). Lectotype of Erebia pluto micans Hamilton, 1909. Te Papa AI.024867. Te Papa image
  • Bust of Augustus Hamilton, Director Colonial Museum 1903-1907, Director Dominion Museum 1907-1913. Te Papa ME016792. Image: Te Papa
  • Hamilton’s black mountain butterfly (Percnodaimon micans) – underside of wing showing golden scales. Lectotype of Erebia pluto micans Hamilton, 1909. Te Papa AI.024867. Te Papa image
  • Hamilton’s frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) holotype. Te Papa AM.000012. Te Papa image MA_I069445

Our national museum’s second director was an ethnologist with broad interests in natural sciences. Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, the exhibition ‘You called me WHAT?!’ is open on Level 3 until the end of 2016. The exhibition,… Read more »