Posts tagged with collections

Behind the Scenes of Angels and Aristocrats

Mrs Humphrey Devereux; 1771; Copley, John Singleton.  After treatment, 2012, photograph by Kate Whitley

Te Papa’s latest art exhibition, Angels & Aristocrats, opens on the 20th October in the Level 5 galleries.  The exhibition draws on a number of collections from around New Zealand including artworks from Te Papa’s collection which you will see on display.  Some of these paintings required attention in the conservation lab before the exhibition began, to allow… Read more »

Do you know this building?

 Te Papa has an enormous collection of photographs, negatives and transparencies by Brian Brake (1927 – 88), one of New Zealand’s best known photographers.  Brake became famous while working overseas as a photojournalist – one of his best known works is the Monsoon photo essay, which he took in 1960.  He also photographed extensively in… Read more »

News from Loans: Masterton Museum Collection

Hardens Hand Grenade Fire Extinguisher. Photographer: Andrea Hearfield.Te Papa

A little while ago I told you about the return of the Masterton Museum collection to Aratoi, thereby honouring a 58 year-old agreement.  In that collection there were some really interesting items so I thought I would tell you about another one of them.  It is a very pretty blue glass orb with a neck,… Read more »

News from Loans: A Collection Returns Home

Ship's biscuit. Photographer: Robert Clendon.Te Papa

In any museum collection you will find items or entire collections that were lent at some point in the distant past, sometimes more than a hundred years ago.  It is always rewarding when a relationship is re-established with the owner and the items or collection can be returned to its rightful place.  This happened to… Read more »

The Amazon’s final home run

Amazon Softball Club 2012/2011.Te Papa

 The Amazon Softball Club, the first and last lesbian softball club in New Zealand, has kindly donated a selection of team uniforms and ephemera to Te Papa. The Amazon’s formed at the height of gay liberation in 1977. The Wellington based club provided a space for self-identified lesbians to socialise, find solidarity and develop confidence… Read more »

Fieldwork in the Subantarctic Islands, a hundred years ago

I’ve been enjoying our scientist’s fieldwork posts.  We have scientist’s photographs from several historic field trips in the photography collection.  My favourites are in this photo album from the 1907 Expedition to the Subantarctic Islands.  The Expedition was initiated by the Canterbury Philosophical Institute with support from the Government, and studied plants, animals, soils and marine life on the Auckland… Read more »

Caring for our photographic negatives

  • Cellulose acetate film was used for negatives from the 1920s.  It tends to break down to acetic acid, causing the film to shrink.  This makes the binder layer form channels and spots, and the image becomes difficult to read.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty drawer into the plan chest unit.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty plan drawer into the unit.
  • An acetate negative with 'vinegar syndrome'

We have an enormous collection of photographic negatives and transparencies on glass and film, going back to the 1870s. They include all sorts of images from studio portraits to holiday snaps, landscapes, photographs of sports teams, and artists’ negatives and transparencies. Many negatives are chemically unstable and, if left in an uncontrolled environment, will deteriorate to… Read more »

West Coast Fern Fieldwork 2012, 1 – what we were doing

Gleichenia ferns often grow entangled with one another and with other plants; hence their common name of tangle ferns.  But our understanding of them is also in a tangle.  Two or three species are currently recognised in New Zealand, but I think there are at least five.  The picture is of a new species.  It looks similar to the others from above, but very different when viewed from below.  I hope to formally describe it in a year or so.  Then I will be able to show you the differences.  Our fieldwork significantly extended the known occurrences of this fern.  Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

I’m just back from 10 days collecting ferns in the South Island’s West Coast. From previous collections, we knew of several currently unrecognised species of fern that occur on the West Coast. We investigated these records, visiting the sites to collect more material for our studies and to assess the plants in the field, including… Read more »