Where in Whanganui or thereabouts? A curator’s plea for help!

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I need your help to identify the buildings and locations in a small selection of early cartes-de-visite photographs which are mostly of Whanganui. These photographs were taken by William Harding who operated a long running photographic studio in the city in the second half of the 19th century. Some of these buildings may no longer exist but… Read more »

Helen Mason (1915-2014)

Helen Mason, Dish, stoneware with slip decoration, about 1960. Purchased 1993. Te Papa

It is with sadness that we farewell Helen Mason, potter, first editor of the New Zealand Potter and great friend and mentor of the craft/arts community. Helen Mason’s involvement in the arts, from the early days of the studio pottery movement to her more recent endeavours, has become legendary. Her early training typified education for… Read more »

A very reuseable view – Muir and Moodie’s Whanganui River postcards

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A special part of Te Papa’s new rehang of Framing the View (part of Nga Toi Arts Te Papa on level 5 of the museum) is a photography feature on the Whanganui River’s ‘Drop Scene’. Here I want to share the journey of one image of the river taken by Dunedin photography studio, and postcard publishers, Muir &… Read more »

The image above is my favourite from a WWI album with photos by NZ soldier Herbert (Bert) Green. The group seems just perfectly composed. There is also the sense of it being two photographs somehow layered together, with another scene unfolding quite independently behind the soldiers. The way the hat of the man at right veers towards… Read more »

German Samoa captured by New Zealand Troops – 29 August 1914

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Samoa by New Zealand troops. It was the first military action of New Zealanders in the first world war. This postcard titled ’German War Flag captured at Samoa by New Zealand Expeditionary Force’ is one of a small group of items at Te Papa that reference… Read more »

Last week Te Papa hosted 90 students from Wellington-area schools for a special speed date. Of the literary kind. The event starred contributors to the recent Te Papa Press publication The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous, including Dave Armstrong, James Brown, Sarah Laing and Jo Randerson, as well as children’s author Philippa… Read more »

Official photographs and reading Herman Wollerman’s postcard

Takapau Divisional Camp 1914, photographic postcard, Hawke's Bay, by James Daroux, Te Papa PS.003297

Can you spot the arrow in the sky? This photographic postcard by photographer, James Daroux, was sent by Herman Wollerman to his father in Wellington from the Takapau Divisional training camp in the Hawkes’ Bay in May 1914. The camp was one of an annual series of training exercises organised by the New Zealand Territorial Forces from 1912 to… Read more »

WWI relics: Authors’ favourites from Holding on to Home revealed

What is a relic of World War I? Is it a lemon squeezer hat, a fundraising tapestry, a knitting pattern or an Egyptian cigarette souvenired by a soldier? This is a question at the heart of Holding on to Home which Te Papa Press launched last Thursday. With more than 300 images, this new book broadens… Read more »

Makara students go ‘behind the scenes’

The students are shown a white-bellied sea eagle.

Back in July, students from Makara Model School had the chance to meet some Te Papa curators and get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at part of our Natural History collection store. This opportunity came about as part of Science Live: Expedition Snares Island that was broadcast earlier in the year. By asking our scientists a question… Read more »