All I want for Christmas is Ngā Toi

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All I want for Christmas is … Te Papa’s Hosts present some of this season’s art works in their very own Ngā Toi Christmas wish list! The current season of Ngā Toi has a great variety of artworks, from 300-hundred-year-old dresses and beloved iconic New Zealand paintings to a musical washing machine and an endoskeleton… Read more »

Pukerua Bay School Museum visit the Conservation Lab

Pukerua Bay School Museum with Te Papa team, Photograph by Amanda Rodgers, Te Papa

Aurelia, Paddy and Isaac visited Te Papa’s conservation team to find out all about picture framing and paper and painting conservation. Our friends from Pukerua Bay School Museum have recently created their own YouTube channel to help them reach out to their audiences. One of our favourite videos, so far, has involved the children explaining the process of restoring… Read more »

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 »