Award-winning garments from the rag pile

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  • 1780s-style dress pieced together from an unpicked 1730s dress. Te Papa (PC002687)
  • Opera cape made in the 1920s from a 1910s skirt. Te Papa  (PC003668)

Before you throw out your tired bits of clothing, consider giving them new life through upcycling. Senior history curator Claire Regnault highlights a collection of garments acquired by Te Papa in 2015 that are made from material originally destined for landfill. Recently I attended an illustrated talk by Beth Brown-Reinsel, an American practitioner and writer who… Read more »

Remembering New Zealand artist Guy Ngan (1926-2017)

Waoku No.2

Athol McCredie, Curator of Photography, pays tribute to artist Guy Ngan, whose works adorn buildings and public spaces around the country. We note with regret that New Zealand artist Guy Ngan passed away at age 91 on Monday 26 June. Ngan is an artist whose work you probably know, even though if you are not familiar… Read more »

Conversations with my grandmother through crochet

  • Graduating work
  • Graduating work
  • Sosefina
  • Artworks

Sosefina Andy is the first recipient of our Helen Hitchings scholarship for postgraduate fine art students. Here she explains the origins of her methodology and what inspires her work. My art teacher in high school, Ms. Karanga, was my first art critic. I started to slowly develop an interest in art-making by taking her sculpture… Read more »

The heaviest, smallest, oldest, and smelliest books in our library

small-book-parrot-2017-te-papa-2000

Our Research Librarian Martin Lewis, aka @RareBookGuy, takes a look at some of the more unusual questions he has received on tours of the Te Papa library collection. Part of my role at Te Papa includes giving tours, working with school groups, and hosting visiting researchers. You can never predict what visitors will ask on a tour,… Read more »

Xena’s costume goes on display in Christchurch

Claire Regnault, Senior Curator New Zealand Culture and History, talks about the legacy of Xena: Warrior Princess and a new exhibition in Christchurch, We Could Be Heroes: The gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks and Romans, where her costume is currently starring until Oct 2017. The history of Xena In 1995 a new heroine, tormented… Read more »

Success at the America’s Cup: Team New Zealand’s Black Magic

The Black Magic boat on display in the Maritime Museum

Te Papa congratulates Emirates Team New Zealand on winning the America’s Cup on 27 June 2017 in a 7-1 series victory over Oracle Team USA. Team New Zealand first won the America’s Cup in San Diego in 1995 with NZL32, also known as Black Magic. They successfully defended their title in Auckland in 2000. NZL32… Read more »

Brian Brake’s life story told through his passports

New Zealand Passport of Brian Brake

Archivist Jennifer Twist looks at photographer Brian Brake’s passports and discovers how much of one’s life can be revealed through them. A life few can imagine Brian Brake was a Magnum photographer, a cameraman, and director with the National Film Unit (1949–1955). Brake worked as a freelance photographer in Europe, the United States, the Middle East,… Read more »

Countering stereotypes through co-collecting with Tongan youth

  • Shell, maker unknown. Gift of Kupa Kupa, 2015. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (FE012955)
  • Small Things Matter
  • Project 83
  • Toakase Fakaosilea

As part of our co-collecting initiative with the Tongan community, students have been considering what truly represents them and counters stereotypical representations. Curator Pacific Art, Nina Tonga highlights some of the students and their selected objects. Back in 2014, our Pacific Cultures team took Year 13 Tongan language students from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara,… Read more »

Classic rugby photos by photojournalist Peter Bush, in his own words

  • Rugby player Charmaine Smith avoids a tackle from an Australian player
  • Rugby player Israel Dagg jumps onto teammates in celebration
  • A man lies on the ground while another man offers help
  • All Black Michael Jones runs with the ball past a French rugby player

Photojournalist Peter Bush has been photographing the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby since 1949, on assignment for The New Zealand Herald. In his 70-year career he has captured such legends as Meads, Whineray, Kirkpatrick, and McCaw, numerous World Cups, and documented such tours as the All Blacks in apartheid South Africa and the Springboks’… Read more »

Starfish: An unexpected journey

  • CA001202/002/0001 – Laurie Foon business notebook; circa 1997; photograph by Gareth Watkins
  • CA001203/014/0004 - Starfish’s Wellington store; November 2006; Grant Maiden Photography
  • CA001200/004/0004 - Marketing image for the Grey Gardens (Winter 2007) Laurie Foon fashion collection, featuring the Fallen from Grace dress co-designed by Carleen Schollum
  • CA001203/001/0001 –Digital copy of a photograph of Laurie Foon and Rena Kohere receiving the National Sustainable Business Award 2007; 2007; Unknown (Starfish was the first fashion label to win a NZ Sustainable Business Award.)

Te Papa’s assistant archivist Gareth Watkins is going through Starfish’s archive, recently gifted to Te Papa. This final blog looks at the series of events that led to the fashion label’s closure in 2013. The 2000s were a highpoint for Laurie Foon and the Starfish fashion label. In 2003 Laurie established the luxury label LAURIE FOON, there… Read more »