Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »

‘Citizen Art’ – Miniature Hikes: the book

The recently launched book resulting from the Miniature Hikes public art project.

Citizen science is all the rage right now in New Zealand, especially given its emphasis in the National Science Challenges and Science and Society project. Getting the public participating in science experiments is seen as a way to get them engaged in science. Te Papa is currently running its own citizen science project, in conjunction… Read more »

8000 images on New Zealand Birds Online

  • Immature pomarine skua at sea off North Cape, March 2014.  Image: Les Feasey, NZ Birds Online
  • New Zealand's first buff-breasted sandpiper, Papakanui spit, Kaipara Harbour, March 2014.  Image: Ian Southey, NZ Birds Online
  • Stewart Island kiwi, March 2015.  Image: Glenda Rees, NZ Birds Online
  • Southern black-backed gull nest containing an egg and young chick, Awarua Bay, January 2015. Image: Glenda Rees, NZ Birds Online

The Te Papa-hosted website New Zealand Birds Online has passed a significant milestone, with the 8000th image loaded late on 29 March. Most of the images on the website have been sourced from amateur or semi-professional photographers, who have generously supported the project from the outset. At the time of the launch in June 2013,… Read more »

Floor talk about Te Papa’s science

Declassified-hero-image

Would you like to know more about the scientific research carried out by Te Papa? Our natural history research programme encompasses tiny invertebrates to plants, and spans the ocean depths to high-flying birds. For those in Wellington, Science Curator Leon Perrie will give a floor talk in the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition space on Thursday 2nd April,… Read more »

Peter Stichbury (1924-2015)

Peter Stichbury, 1972, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (O.027680)

To commemorate the life of the late New Zealand potter Peter Stichbury our curator of art and design Justine Olsen looks back over his life’s work. It is with great sadness that we farewell Peter Stichbury – the last of the Leach generation of New Zealand studio potters. Equally at home behind his wheel or firing the… Read more »

Photos of New Zealand’s threatened forget-me-nots now on Collections Online

Myosotis angustata

Did you know that 32 of New Zealand’s 44 native forget-me-not species are under some level of threat? That’s a whopping 75%! Sixteen of those species are in the “Threatened” category and another 16 are in the “At Risk” category of the New Zealand Threat Classification. Because such a high percentage of native forget-me-nots (genus:… Read more »

Maori soldiers that served at Gallipoli

Sons of Lawrence Marshall Grace and Te Kahui Grace. Photograph taken in 1911 by S P Andrew Ltd. From left: Haami, Lawrence, Richard. Photo courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library.  http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23135461

In our second blog ahead of our new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18, Maori curator Puawai Cairns reveals some of her research into a Maori soldier that served at Gallipoli. Unlike many of the other Maori soldiers I researched for this exhibition, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marshall Percy Grace (10/127… Read more »

Spider citizen science for schools and Early Childhood Centres

Black tunnelweb spider, Porrhothele antipodiana. Wellington, 14 January 2015. Photo © Tony Wills CC BY-SA. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1180262

If your school or Early Childhood Centre contributes a photo of a spider (or fern) to our citizen science projects, we’ll include the photo in Te Papa’s DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition*. More on the exhibition DeCLASSIFIED! Nature’s secrets exposed at Te Papa. * provided the contributed photo has a Creative Commons licence. It is a nice way… Read more »

Pacific Cultures ‘Storeroom Selfies’ – The Summer Edition

  • Kaitara
  • VUW Orientation
  • Between wind and water
  • PNG Sevens

As the museum sector wages war on the selfie stick, other museums including Te Papa have embraced the camera extension device. Taking a selfie is quickly becoming a part of the museum experience at Te Papa. We only need to check Te Papa’s Instagram account to see that our visitors are choosing to remember and… Read more »