How are we looking? Photo sharing gives us a glimpse into how we look

Mount doom covered in snow. Photograph and Instagram post by txnnxr. All rights reserved

Amos Mann, a Digital Content Producer at Te Papa, finds tensions, connections, and conversations within #tepapaphoto, an Instagram photo sharing project currently underway. We love taking photos. We love sharing photos. And now, more easily than ever before, from across town and across the world, we can instantly show each other where we are, what we’re doing,… Read more »

Today is International Women’s Day –  a time to ‘reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.’ This year’s theme is Planet 50-50 by 2030 which envisages ‘a world where all women and… Read more »

Out of our minds – Watkins, Didion and the Malakoff Diggins

malakoff diggins watkins

  Despite their age Carleton Watkins’ photographs have an enduring appeal. Their large scale and simple beauty makes them stand out amongst the vast array of nineteenth century landscape photographs. Often Watkins’ photographs don’t simply document or show facts – they disorient our sense of identity and place in front of a scene. Sometimes finding… Read more »

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting he found.  A rare early twentieth… Read more »

Sir James Hector and the Kerguelen connection

  • Lyallia kerguelensis, Ile Mayes, Iles Kerguelen. Image: Colin Miskelly, IPEV / Te Papa
  • Hectorella caespitosa, Sealy Range, Southern Alps. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Commerson's dolphin, Golfe du Morbihan, Iles Kerguelen. Image: Colin Miskelly, IPEV / Te Papa
  • Hector’s dolphin. Image: Steve Dawson, New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust

The Kerguelen Islands are among the most remote islands on the planet, lying in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean about 7300 km west of New Zealand (or 17,000 km east if you prefer). Yet they have at least two unlikely connections with New Zealand – a plant and a dolphin. And both are… Read more »

The End of Fashion conference: call for papers and exhibition proposals

The End of Fashion, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, 8-9 December 2016 Conference conveners: Professor Vicki Karaminas, Massey University, Wellington and Professor Hilary Radner, University of Otago, Dunedin Keynote Speakers: Valerie Steele, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York Pamela Church Gibson, London College of Fashion Raphaëlle Moine, Université de Paris 3… Read more »

The mysterious attraction of the Hutt River to crabeater seals

  • Crabeater seal, Melling, Lower Hutt, July 1934. Image: John Salmon, Te Papa image MA_A.000173
  • Weddell seal, Napier, June 2007. Image: Department of Conservation
  • Ross seal, Paekakariki, September 2002. Image: Department of Conservation
  • Crabeater seal beside the Hutt River, March 2015. Image: Anneke Mace, Department of Conservation

In late March 2015, a crabeater seal swam up the Hutt River (which flows into Wellington Harbour) and died. It was a remarkable occurrence – the crabeater seal is an Antarctic species rarely recorded in New Zealand – but no-one realised at the time that this was precisely the place in New Zealand where a… Read more »

Get Downloading – 20 great GLAM websites for free high resolution images

  • Parrot's leg ring, kaka poria, made of nephrite. Oc1878,1101.616, AN72598001 © Trustees of the British Museum licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license
  • Arayori (A Peasant Woman), ca. 1915 by Yoshida Homei. wood with applied color. CC0. Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
  • Iris Corsage Ornament, ca. 1900 by Tiffany and Company. Montana sapphires, diamonds, demantoid garnets, topaz, blued steel, gold alloys, platinum. CC0. Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
  • Major General Andrew Hamilton Russell. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/1-002064-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22701970

People often ask me where they can find images of collection items that they can reuse for free. There is no single website hosting all of the reusable images available so I thought I’d list my favourite galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) that make at least some images of their collections freely available for reuse…. Read more »

Minimising waste through design – forthcoming talk

I have posted a couple of blogs about Rekindle, the Christchurch-based collective dedicated to tackling the issues of wasted ‘waste’ materials. Rekindle was originally spurred into action by the Canterbury earthquakes, which resulted in the devastation of inner city Christchurch and the creation of massive piles of demolition waste, including ‘mountains’ of native timber. Te Papa is proud to own two beautiful pieces… Read more »