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?

book-cover

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 »

Seeing earthquakes

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Dr Hamish Campbell, Te Papa’s geologist in residence from GNS Science, shares his experience witnessing the green lights in the sky following Sunday night’s earthquake. Green sheet lightning I was driving home to Wellington from Auckland late on Sunday night after having had dinner in Taupo with Dinah and our children Niamh and Riley. Petrol… Read more »

A ‘gamble in human life’: military conscription begins 100 years ago

End view of box used in conscription ballots from 1916-1918

In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. History curator Kirstie Ross takes a look at conscription – introduced 100 years ago to ensure a constant supply of New Zealand soldiers for military service in the… Read more »

Marti Friedlander 1928 – 2016

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It is with sadness that we at Te Papa learned photographer Marti Friedlander passed away in Auckland on Monday 15 November. Marti was born in London of Jewish parents and emigrated to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband Gerrard in 1958. She was shocked by how conservative New Zealand was at the time and gravitated… Read more »

Art and Democracy

  • No bus shelter, 1960, by Lois White. Te Papa (1972-0002-1)
  • Aufruhr (Uprising) from Ein Weberaufstand (Weavers' Revolt), 1899, by Käthe Kollwitz. Te Papa (1981-0034-2)
  • Les bêcheurs (The diggers); 1855-1856; Millet, Jean-François; etching and aquatint in brown-black ink with surface tone; paper; etching; France
  • The pancake woman, 1635, by Rembrandt van Rijn Gift of Bishop Monrad, 1869. Te Papa (1869-0001-415)

In this blog, Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, explores the slippery links between art and democracy Following the very recent presidential elections in the world’s second biggest democracy (don’t forget India!) it makes sense to explore the connections between art and that system of government. Victoria Coates, who combines being senior foreign policy… Read more »

You can come across some surprising sights when wandering around Te Papa – including 3 and 4-year-olds taking pictures with vintage cameras.  If you pay a visit to the art exhibitions in Ngā Toi, you might come across a small group of children from Tai Tamariki Kindergarten. Nothing too surprising there you think, but when you notice… Read more »