South Island Botany Field Trip: weedy highlights

goat's beard, Tragopogon pratensis L., (SP103848). Collected 16 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Canterbury, West Coast Road. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In early December 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences were collecting specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip: native plants from the high country

Notothlaspi rosulatum. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In late 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica spp.). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens collected, including… Read more »

Hitting the Road for Creative Commons and National Services Te Paerangi

Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand GLAM Road Trip Poster, 2015. © Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

In March and some of April this year I was away from Te Papa going around the country talking with others from the gallery, library, archive and museum sector (GLAMs) for the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand GLAM Road Trip 2015. The Road Trip provided free workshops and events for the cultural and heritage sector… Read more »

How bazaar! J.F. Lewis and the Bezestein, El Khan Khalil, Cairo

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The English painter John Frederick Lewis (1804–1876)  was a fascinating and brilliant enigma to his contemporaries, and remains so today. He was certainly no pompous, verbose Victorian bore. At a dinner of the Society of Painters in Watercolours, Lewis delivered a memorable presidential address, rising from his seat, saying nothing, and promptly sitting down again…. Read more »

Inadvertently preserving alien invaders

  • New Zealand Pygmyweed (Crassula helmsii) on a rampage in the UK.  © Copyright Seo Mise and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
  • Monterey pine, Pinus radiata D.Don, collected 01 Apr 2009, southern Wairarapa, Lake Onoke, Onoke Spit., New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (SP087267)
  • Stoat, Mustela erminea, collected 1929, Unknown, Unknown. Gift of the Wellington City Council, 1929. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (LM000273)
  • Bumblebee specimens from Te Papa's collection. Historic specimens such as these can be important for examining past genetic variation, even from extinct species. Photo: Lara Shepherd

With its long history of isolation from other land masses, New Zealand has been suggested to be an ‘ark’ for unusual species, such as tuatara and moa. But New Zealand has now been found to be a genetic ark for an introduced species – the stoat. A recent study reported that stoats in New Zealand… Read more »

End of the road

Untitled [portrait of a WWI soldier (Allan McMillan) with an amputated arm sitting at a desk at Oatlands Park, Surrey, England], 1918, England, maker unknown. Te Papa (O.031468)

Before or after visiting Gallipoli: The scale of our war, take some time to head up to level 4 to see The Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I. This small-scale exhibition contains sobering content showing the long-term impact of the Great War on individuals, families and communities. In the exhibition, eight large sepia photographs taken… Read more »

Rita Angus: The devil is in the detail

Surrealist painting by Rita Angus

Around 1945, Rita Angus painted a man sitting in an armchair, next to a table of books and a bunch of flowers. Nothing too strange so far, right? Except that there is a devil in a long purple robe creeping up behind him. Not to mention the huge spider crawling on the books, or the… Read more »

Why Gallipoli? Join us for an enduring conversation

I have been an avid listener of the BBC World Service’s wonderful series on the War that Changed the World, which is being broadcast locally by Radio New Zealand. Working in partnership with the British Council, the BBC has recorded a series of panel discussions in different cities around the world from Sarajevo to Dresden to Istanbul,… Read more »

AIDS Memorial Quilt and Candlelight Service – an invitation

This coming Sunday, 17 May, Te Papa is hosting the Wellington AIDS Candlelight Memorial Service. The Candlelight Service is an international event that takes place globally each May to honour those who have departed, and to raise awareness of issues facing those living with HIV world-wide. The service has been taking place every year since 1983, led… Read more »