Don Peebles, Untitled, 1978

Don Peebles, one of the pioneers of modern painting in New Zealand died on Saturday 27 March at his home in Christchurch. He was 88. On behalf of Te Papa, I’d like to our offer sympathies to Prue, Don’s wife of fifty years, their children and grandchildren. He will beRead more

Many people at Te Papa were saddened to learn of the death this morning of Julian Dashper. Julian had suffered serious illness over the past few years. He fought cheerfully and bravely, all the while continuing to make and exhibit new work. Our deepest sympathies go out to Julian’s family.Read more

Jill Trevelyan’s biography, Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life was proclaimed winner of the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction last night, as well as category winner for the Biography section of the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Congratulations Jill! Everyone here at Te Papa who worked with Jill on the exhibition RitaRead more

  The other night we hung the two McCahons we bought last year – Scared and Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum. They’ve gone up in Toi Te Papa. In the mid-1970s Colin McCahon did a lot of paintings on a thick high quality paper called Steinbach. Legend has it that McCahon’s dealerRead more

Te Papa has a strong collection of Colin McCahon’s early religious works, including three paintings from 1947 that depict events from story of the Passion: Christ taken from the cross, Entombment (after Titian), and King of the Jews. One of the enduring myths surrounding McCahon’s early paintings is that wereRead more

Last week we took delivery of Art at Te Papa, the big book on the art collection. We are absolutely thrilled with it. The book’s official launch isn’t until next week, but Te Papa store already has an impressive display in its window. Some numbers: The book features 419 worksRead more

My trip to Christchurch for the opening of Rita Angus: Life & Vision went well. I’m pleased with the way the exhibition looks at Christchurch Art Gallery, especially as the exhibition designer and I worked the whole thing out on the phone and via email. By the time I gotRead more

Rita Angus: Life & Vision opens at Christchurch Art Gallery this weekend. I’ll be heading down for the official opening tomorrow evening. On Saturday I’m doing a floortalk in the exhibition at noon, the first in what looks like a great line-up of events alongside the show. It’ll be niceRead more

Ian Prior, noted epidemiologist and arts patron, died earlier this week. Luncheon under the ash tree, an exhibition organised by Aratoi which celebrated Ian and Elespie Prior’s art collection, toured galleries around New Zealand a few years ago. A couple of works on show in and near Te Papa stand inRead more

In 1958 Colin McCahon spent four months on a study tour of the United States. Although the main point of the trip was to look at how museums were run — McCahon was then working as a curator at Auckland Art Gallery — he saw an awful lot of art:Read more

In honour of Charles Darwin’s birthday today, here’s a work by one of the artists from HMS Beagle. Conrad Martens painted this view of Kororareka, the site of modern Russell, in 1841. It’s based on sketches which he made during on a brief visit there in 1835. Martens had left theRead more

Reading about American artist James Luna’s travels around the country brings to mind of a couple of earlier artistic visitors to New Zealand. Nicholas Chevalier, the Russian-born, Australian-domiciled Swiss painter made two visits to New Zealand in the 1860s. The first, in 1865, was sponsored by the Otago Provincial Council. Not toRead more