Posts tagged with conservation

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 »

Kōrero Kākahu: Weaving Worldviews

Donna Head, Kohai Grace and Clare Butler. Photograph by Pamela Lovis

by Matariki Williams A highlight for me in Kahu Ora is a kākahu that is in the process of being cleaned by Textile Conservator Anne Peranteau. This kahu kurī is from between 1750 and 1840, of unknown provenance, and is made from strips of the pelt of a kurī (Polynesian dog) sewn onto a finely twined foundation… 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 »

Te Papa Curator Visits to Yamashina Institute, champions of Short-tailed Albatross Recovery project

  • Short-tailed albatross juvenile translocated and photographed at Mukojima Island.
  • Yamashina Institute of Ornithology researchers transfer chicks to Mukojima Island, using specially constructed crates. Photo: Yamashina Institute of Ornithology.
  • What the adults look like – Short tailed albatross adult and chicks
  • Kiyoaki Ozaki of the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology in Tokyo and Susan Waugh, Te Papa Senior Curator of Natural Environment discuss latest work on the Short-tailed Albatross recovery programme being conducted by the Institute.

The Yamashina Institute of Ornithology in Abiko houses the largest collection of birds in Japan, with over 60,000 specimens, including the newly discovered Okinawan Rail Rallus okinawae, New Zealand Kakapo, and one of the world’s rarest species, the Short-tailed Albatross. The exchange with the Institute in Tokyo is part of a programme of work to… Read more »

Our far South – Antipodes and Bounty Islands: dots of importance

  • Salvin's albatross. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Furseal. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

I awoke on the morning of 6 March to discover that we had very rapid progress over night and were approaching the rugged columnular basalt cliffs of the Antipodes Island, crowned with green tussocks. The home to the Antipodean albatross,the Antipodes Island parakeet and the erect-crested penguin (to name just a few of the birds!)…. Read more »

Plant Hunt at Hokio, Levin

Ophioglossum coriaceum. Adams, Nancy. Purchased 2006. © Te Papa.

Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey was recently contacted about a population near Levin of the very rare Ophioglossum petiolatum. Ophioglossum are odd looking ferns, as befits a common name of “adder’s tongue ferns”.  We don’t have a picture of O. petiolatum (stalked adder’s tongue fern), but the related O. coriaceum is similar; O. petiolatum… Read more »

Our Far South: Roaring Forties, furious fifties and Screaming sixties…

  • tabular iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • ICeberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa

Heading south from Macquarie Island we have had some relatively calm seas, pretty remarkable for this part of the world. Leaving the Roaring Forties which gave us a pretty slow rolling sea the fifties gave us a small taste of what it had to offer with some mild five-metre seas. Passing past 60 degrees south was… Read more »

Our Far South: What it boils down to

  • Elephant seals and regenerating tussock. Victor Anderlini.
  • Elephant seals on the tussock flats. Victor Anderlini.
  • Aurora australis. Photo WWF.
  • King penguins surrounding the zodiac. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

We arrived at Macquarie Island – the sheltered waters in the lee of the island provided a welcome relief from the open ocean we had crossed between here and the Auckland Islands. The cool subantarctic summer did not detract from the spectacular wildlife – elephant seals and penguins everywhere! Until 1920 the elephant seals and penguins… Read more »

New Botany Display in Nature Space – informing you about topical conservation issues.

New Display, Nature Space Discovery Centre, Level 2, Te Papa; Photo: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

In December, 2011 I worked with Melanie Dash, Nature Space Supervisor, along with conservation, mount making, writing, interpretation, and installation staff to present a small Botany display.  This display is located in Nature Space on level 2.  Melanie and I also sought images and advice from the Department of Conservation, Ngā Manu Trust, Auckland Council, and Ministry for Primary Industries…. Read more »