What does your inner monster look like? For New Zealand painter Tony Fomison (1939–1990) it was a creature drenched in darkness, his face covered in wolfish hair. Art curator Chelsea Nichols explains more.Read more

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting heRead more

The late American writer Christopher Largen once said: “Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.” If that is so, why has childbirth been such an unusual subject for modern and contemporary artists? Motherhood is a relatively common subject in WesternRead more

Painting of biomorphic organisms by Len Lye

This is a momentous week for modern art in New Zealand – on Saturday, the Len Lye Centre at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth will open to the public, the first ever space in New Zealand dedicated to a single artist. To toast this exciting occasion, it seemsRead more

Oil painting entitled 'After the bath' by Henry Tonks

Late last year, Te Papa got an exciting new acquisition for its international art collection: Henry Tonks’ After the bath (1910-11). This sweet Edwardian painting depicts a woman in a red dress holding a freshly-bathed baby on her lap, surrounded by three little girls. The painting is full of wonderful little details, likeRead more

Surrealist painting by Rita Angus

Around 1945, Rita Angus painted a man sitting in an armchair, next to a table of books and a bunch of flowers. Nothing too strange so far, right? Except that there is a devil in a long purple robe creeping up behind him. Not to mention the huge spider crawlingRead more

Frank Craig, Goblin market, 1911

We have been busy installing Season 3 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 of Te Papa, which will open to the public on August 23rd. But the exhibitions team haven’t been alone during the installation…there are also goblins in the gallery. Luckily, these mischievous goblins haven’tRead more