Delving into the household accounts of James Hector

  • Mrs Hector paid a Mrs Fahy to do her laundry. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • Bundles of James Hector's bills are held in Te Papa's archive. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • A tally of purchases from I & H Barber - Butchers.
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Dr Simon Nathan is an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. During his research towards a biography on James Hector, the founder of the Colonial Museum, he has delved into the household accounts of the Hector family, which are held in Te Papa’s Archive. In this guest blog post, he shares some of his findings on the the lifestyle of a… Read more »

An evening with Sir Hew Strachan, Britain’s leading First World War historian

Monday, 25 August, 6-7pm, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa In New Zealand, as elsewhere in the world, the debate is hotting up about how communities, and most specifically governments, should commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. With millions being spent world-wide, the question is certainly being debated by many, with votes being passionately… Read more »

Berry Cover Boys

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out in prints made from the original… Read more »

Goblins in the gallery

Frank Craig, Goblin market, 1911

We have been busy installing Season 3 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 of Te Papa, which will open to the public on August 23rd. But the exhibitions team haven’t been alone during the installation…there are also goblins in the gallery. Luckily, these mischievous goblins haven’t been running through the galleries… Read more »

Limbless, but not jobless or hopeless

  ‘Limbie’ is a word you don’t hear today. It seems a bit blunt to us now but, during and after World War I, it was an acceptable, informal term used to describe a limbless soldier – an ex-serviceman who lost a limb in the conflict. (Over 1000 New Zealand soldiers had to have limbs… Read more »

Girl Peace Scouts: a prophylactic against hoydenish romps

The Girl Peace Scout movement was founded in New Zealand by Lieutenant Colonel David Cossgrove in 1908, after his daughters expressed interest in becoming scouts – that is they were somewhat peeved that their brothers were having all the fun. Based in Christchurch, Cossgrove had been responsible for translating Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys into… Read more »

Nga Toi│Arts Te Papa Spring Season 2014: In the lab

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The galleries may be closed, the walls may be bare, but there has been plenty going on behind the scenes in preparation for the fresh season of Ngā Toi│Arts Te Papa due to open on Friday 22nd August.   Many of the works destined for exhibition have required some loving care from our great team… Read more »

Berry Boys: First in, first served

Early enlister John Jessen (above) was the first of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co to enlist for service. The 23-year-old signed up on 8 August 1914, just two days after the Defence Department invited single men between the ages of 20 and 35, weighing not more than 12 stone (76kg), to volunteer for… Read more »

Celebrating Te Reo Māori in 2014

  • Ko hine te iwaiwa, ko hine korako, ko rona whakamau tai, 1993, New Zealand. Kahukiwa, Robyn. Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa
  • Te Po and Papatuanuku, 1983. Kahukiwa, Robyn. Purchased 1983 with New Zealand Lottery Board funds. Te Papa
  • Maui, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
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Māori Language Week 2014! To celebrate the Te Papa Education team offered teachers something new, as 37 teachers from all over Wellington, ranging from ECE to intermediate school, joined together to grow and support Te Reo Māori in the classroom. We played a range of kēmu to get the blood and the brain pumping, like wharewhare, using the 50 kupu… Read more »