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 »

Conservator Linda Waters, and her colleague Tijana Cvetkovic, have been helping Bronwyn Holloway-Smith of the Mural Search and Recovery Project investigate whether a 1960s mural by Mervyn E Taylor called  ‘First Kumara Planting’ ’ is still intact, hidden under white paint in the old Soil Bureau building in Taita. The story so far In my previous… Read more »

A ‘Raphael’ just for you this Christmas

whanganui-madonna

Mark Stocker, Curator International Historical Art, shares a Christmas delight with you: Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia, the Palazzo Pitti original and the Whanganui copy… Michelangelo and Raphael are the Lennon and McCartney of the High Renaissance. Michelangelo – edgy, original and obviously brilliant, Raphael – beautiful, sweeter and keener to please. It’s like ‘Help’ and… Read more »

The ‘It’s a Bug’s Life’ science education resource is here!

bugs-life-resource-te-papa-700x525

After 2 years of dedicated mahi (work), we are proud to share with you the It’s a Bug’s Life science education resource for ECE and Primary. Download the It’s a Bug’s Life resource This resource helps kaiako (educators – including those in the community and at home) to engage in science with young children (aged… Read more »

An inordinate fondness for weevils

  • Flax weevil, islet off Anchor Island, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Flax weevil, Shag Islands, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Lyall’s carrot (Anisotome lyallii), Seal Islands, Dusky Sound. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Punui weevil (Hadramphus stilbocarpae), Snares Islands. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

When did you last get excited about finding a weevil? They get a lot of bad press as pests of crops and stored food, but finding two rare weevil species was one of the highlights of a recent Te Papa expedition to Dusky Sound in Fiordland. Protected species I first learnt about some of New… Read more »

Kiwi culinary history from Aunt Daisy to Hudson and Halls

Aunt Daisy, also known as Maud Ruby Basham. New Zealand Free Lance : Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-046733-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23043179

Inspired by a trip to see Hudson and Halls Live! at Hannah Playhouse, history curator Katie Cooper decided to find out more about Hudson and Halls, and other key figures in New Zealand’s culinary history. Using various communication platforms to demonstrate their craft, these individuals combined skill and charm to inform, empower, and entertain their audiences,… Read more »

Collecting the Standing Rock protest and why it’s important

standing-rock

A protest movement you might have heard about, which I’ve been following closely, is the protest occupation against the North Dakota pipeline at Standing Rock in the United States. The Dakota Access Pipeline (represented online by the hashtag #NODAPL No Dakota Access Pipeline) has prompted protests across the United States as well as expressions of solidarity… Read more »

Whale tales from Dusky Sound: Nice smile, pity about the breath!

  • Time to move on into the sunset. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Warts and all. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Pe Papa
  • Water spout in Dusky Sound. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Boat inspection by one of the humpback whales. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.

A Te Papa research team travelled to Dusky Sound: photographer Jean-Claude recalls a surprise encounter with bad-breathed whales. 15 November 2016. We had made good progress since leaving Doubtful Sound on the Southern Winds, the DOC boat that supports conservation programmes around southern New Zealand. We were now sailing past the tip of the Five… Read more »