This photograph below was lost the moment it was taken in 1929 or 1930. Mary Sporle, known as Dolly, proudly showed off her son Leslie for the camera at Wellington’s Berry & Co. studio with the intention of giving his grandparents a photograph of him. But her family believes she never returned toRead more

There are times in the life of a curator when you see something you would really like to use in an exhibition or publication but have no immediate opportunities. Or you feel that your attraction to it is too personal, and other people wouldn’t feel the same way. So youRead more

This is one of my favourite Brian Brake photographs, and it was one of his as well. You can see it exhibited in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on level 5 of Te Papa at present, and in my book New Zealand Photography Collected. The only time it has previouslyRead more

We learnt with sorrow and regret that photographer and educator Tony Whincup passed away recently. Tony photographed periodically in the remote islands of the Pacific nation of Kiribati over four decades, creating an extensive photographic documentation of its people and their culture. Te Papa purchased 47 of Tony’s photographs on Kiribati dance inRead more

I’ve written two blogs, Help Wanted and More Help Wanted, about photographs from Te Papa’s collection that need more information. Here are some more puzzlers you may be able to help with: Dream Car It would be good to pin down the year for this photograph by dating the cars. WeRead more

There was a high level of interest in my last blog about photographs from Te Papa’s collection that require more information. So here are some more where we need your sleuthing skills: Disappearing Waterfall? What happened to the Kakahi Falls, on the Whanganui River, not far downstream of Taumaranui? This photograph appears in many aRead more

Photographs tend to come to museums with little or no information attached.  The ones below are planned for use in an upcoming Te Papa book on our photography collection. You can help us flesh out some detail on these old photos before it gets locked down in print. Military ManRead more

The image above is my favourite from a WWI album with photos by NZ soldier Herbert (Bert) Green. The group seems just perfectly composed. There is also the sense of it being two photographs somehow layered together, with another scene unfolding quite independently behind the soldiers. The way the hat of theRead more

It is with sadness and regret that we learned that photographer Glenn Jowitt died suddenly on 22nd July. Glenn is best known for his photography of Pacific people and their cultures, both in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands. Glenn was born in 1955 in Upper Hutt. He studied artRead more

When I was nine or ten I used to go to Jenkins Gym in Manners St, Wellington on Saturday mornings with a friend. I hated it but I suspect our respective fathers thought we needed toughening up. The good bit was that after the long trolley bus trip home (noRead more

If you are feeling nostalgic you are probably sentimentally yearning for a period in the past – for a happy, simpler time. But the past often thinks about the future, and its sometimes naïve and romantic imaginations can make you feel nostalgic too. Here’s Bernard Roundhill 1956 vision of Auckland in the yearRead more

When Captain Cook’s Endeavour sailed into Whitianga harbour in 1769 Maori thought the ship was a god, and the people on board tupua, strange beings or goblins. This was confirmed as they rowed ashore, for the way they faced opposite to their direction of travel suggested they had eyes inRead more