As we celebrate the mothers in our lives this coming Sunday, I thought it timely to reflect on some of the remarkable women present in the historical galleries of Ngā Toi │Arts Te Papa. They are present as heroines and homemakers, as artists and as benefactors. They may not haveRead more

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as buddingRead more

Tour participants feeling paint sample produced to emulate sweeping brushwork of Albrecht painting.

As I listened to Judith Jones, one of Te Papa’s hosts trained in audio description, describing the tumultuous sea, the approaching storm and the strange geography of Nicholas Chevalier’s Cook’s Strait New Zealand c. 1885, I ‘saw’ the painting as never before. For the other tour participants, listening acutely, thisRead more

The galleries may be closed, the walls may be bare, but there has been plenty going on behind the scenes in preparation for the fresh season of Ngā Toi│Arts Te Papa due to open on Friday 22nd August.   Many of the works destined for exhibition have required some lovingRead more

China Lecture and Symposium, Thu 15 May, 2pm–8pm, Te Papa Face to face with Shi Lu Working on the exhibition Shi Lu: A revolution in paint has been a revelation for me. Ever since my Uncle traveled to China in the 1980s, bringing back memorabilia from the Friendship shops, teachingRead more

There is something magical about the installation period for an exhibition. As Paul Alexander, the lead exhibition preparator for Shi Lu: A revolution in paint, says, it’s a lot like Christmas. Having spent hours poring over plans with thumbnail images, it’s exciting getting the works out, getting them ready, andRead more

Shi Lu's Horses drinking at Yan River - draft 4

The horse has loomed large in China’s long and storied past. It’s not surprising then, that several pop up in the works of the master of modern Chinese painting, Shi Lu (1919-1982), in an exhibition soon to open at Te Papa, Shi Lu: A revolution in paint. Since its domesticationRead more