It is with immense sadness that we mark the passing of John Edgar ONZM. Stone carver, sculptor and environmentalist, John Edgar has been a central figure in stone carving since the early 1980s. Here, Curator Decorative Art and Design Justine Olsen reflects on Edgar’s rich practice and influence on Aotearoa New Zealand’s stone carving and sculpting. Read more

On the left, a painting of a Māori chief, on the right, the back of the painting showing an unfinished portrait of a young boy

In this excerpt from Back of the Painting, a new book from Te Papa Press that takes a literal look behinds the scenes of famous paintings in New Zealand galleries, Conservator Paintings Linda Waters uncovers a mystery: the unfinished portrait of a young boy.Read more

View from interior of a room, with woman and dog at the threshold - the woman turned to look back at the artist.

During lockdown, we’ve been encouraged to ‘post’ objects in our windows to offer symbols of solidarity – teddy bears and Anzac poppies – for people walking past, looking in. Rebecca Rice, Curator Historical New Zealand Art reverses the direction and looks at works in our collection where the artist shows us views from the inside out.Read more

A necklace made by Colin McCahon. It features three handcrafted red flowers on a thin woven rop

Colin McCahon is a household name in New Zealand because of his paintings – but did you know he dabbled in jewellery? Decorative art and design curator Justine Olsen writes about a lesser-known part of McCahon’s life.Read more

Close-up of Finale: Bouquet showing the abundance of strips of colour

A moment of jubilation, a three-dimensional painting, thousands of fluttering, colourful strands. Hundreds of thousands in fact. Finale: Bouquet represents the culmination of work by Australia artist Nike Savvas and a Te Papa team entrusted with realising her monumental artwork. Here, spatial designer Vioula Said and exhibition preparator Sam Wallis run you through what went into bringing it to life.Read more

‘This is the best picture yet painted in this country’ is how Colin McCahon described his Ruby Bay, 1945. Here, author and curator Peter Simpson talks about the growing confidence that McCahon was showing through his correspondence around the time of working on this painting.Read more