The Ockham Lecture series is an annual programme of lectures and panel discussions that critically engage with craft, design, and architecture. Director of Audience and Insight Puawai Cairns recently presented her Ockham Lecture in connection to Tīhāte!, a project in the Objectspace exhibition Pohewa Pāhewa: a Māori design kaupapa which demonstrates how t-shirt design outcome is used by Māori to show affiliations, share protest messages, and commemorate important moments. Puawai is a co-author of the book Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance, along with Curator History Stephanie Gibson, and then Curator Mātauranga Māori Matariki Williams. Here we’re reproducing some of her kōrero from the lecture as well as contributions from Stephanie Gibson about some of the tees that are featured in the book and why museums collect them as taonga.
On 24 June 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and decided that, despite almost fifty years of precedent, abortion is not a constitutional right. Te Papa curator Stephanie Gibson reflects on the long fight for safe, legal abortions in Aotearoa New Zealand using objects from the Te Papa collection.
Forty years ago, Aotearoa New Zealand erupted into violent protests when the South African Springbok rugby team toured the country from July to September 1981. History curator Stephanie Gibson takes us through some of the items in our collection that record what many people wore as personal protection during the protests.
Te Papa staff were very sad to hear of the recent passing of Marion Florence Mackenzie (née Rodie) on 9 Apr in Queensland (1919–2020). We knew her as Mollie Rodie, the creator of many beautiful costume sketches for fundraising pageants and carnivals in the Second World War (1939–45), now held in Te Papa’s collections.
Triggered by Suffrage 125 last year, Te Papa curators have been collecting objects around women’s rights, and researching our collections to better reveal women’s stories. One of our aims is to improve the gender balance in our collections. Here are some favourite examples from our curators.