Colourful dish

Curator decorative art and design Justine Olsen chooses her top ten objects exhibited in European Splendour: 1500–1800. The objects below are mainly decorative and through them we see changes in style, materials, and techniques. They offer a valuable insights into a bygone age and highlight the impact of religion, trade, culture, and theRead more

Lace is fascinating for its changing and divisive role in history. Desired for its beauty and admired for its technical expertise, the best quality was restricted in use for monarchs and nobility.  While sumptuary laws during the 1500 and early 1600s claimed to protect local industries, lace actually helped identifyRead more

Black and white photo of Paul Annear

Studio jeweller, craftsman Te Papa sadly bids farewell to contemporary studio jeweller Paul Annear who passed away on 24 April in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Characterful and enigmatic, Paul loved materials and the process of craft making. He studied anthropology and psychology at the University of Auckland- subjects that helped informRead more

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to an extraordinary New Zealander – potter, artist, railway enthusiast, conservationist and a self confessed ‘practical visionary’. Our condolences go to Barry’s family and many friends. Barry was a second generation studio potter, following the pioneering achievements of potters including Len CastleRead more

Photo of Helen Hitchings

It was while Helen Hitchings (1920-2002) was in hospital during the early 1940s that the idea of forming a gallery came to her. The Gallery of Helen Hitchings was opened in Wellington in 1949, her mission to promote an awareness of ‘good domestic design’, made by New Zealanders– up toRead more

As a curator, when you develop an exhibition large or small, your heart and mind travels into this particular zone for quite some time. As the object list develops and you start to examine what is known about the objects, a case builds up for inclusion in the show. ThisRead more

Image of Te Papa from Wellington Harbour

It is with sadness that we farewell the distinguished architect Ivan Mercep who died this week.  As part of the original Jasmax concept group, he contributed extensively to the design of Te Papa that opened on Wellington’s waterfront in 1998. The new building, a major construction project,  was to houseRead more

Pottery soldier from the Han dynasty (202 BCE- 220CE). Photographer: Justine Olsen © Te Papa

Justine Olsen, Curator of Decorative art and design, provides a fascinating insight into the preparation for the Throne of Emperors exhibition, opening 22nd March. This Saturday two important exhibitions open to the public: China: Throne of Emperors and Shi Lu: A revolution in paint. Developed by the National Museum of China inRead more

“Bohemia Ware” vase, 1951-1952, New Zealand, by Mirek Smisek, Crown Lynn Potteries Ltd.

It is with sadness that we farewell the distinguished New Zealand potter Mirek Smisek, who passed away last week. Mirek’s life was dedicated to his craft. He began working with clay in Sydney, after having left his devastated homeland, Czechoslovakia, at the end of World War II. Mirek consolidated his passion forRead more