I recently delivered a paper on the New Zealand sculptor Margaret Butler (1883-1947) at the University of Otago conference, ‘Making Women Visible’. Although one or two of her sculptures are occasionally exhibited, she is next to invisible to the wide public, certainly far more obscure than her older contemporary FrancesRead more

  Despite their age Carleton Watkins’ photographs have an enduring appeal. Their large scale and simple beauty makes them stand out amongst the vast array of nineteenth century landscape photographs. Often Watkins’ photographs don’t simply document or show facts – they disorient our sense of identity and place in frontRead more

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting heRead more

The late American writer Christopher Largen once said: “Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.” If that is so, why has childbirth been such an unusual subject for modern and contemporary artists? Motherhood is a relatively common subject in WesternRead more

Copies of prints have never been easier to identify than they are today. More and more museums (including Te Papa) are making high-resolution images of their collections available online, so that we can compare the prints in our collection with their counterparts across the world. This makes it possible evenRead more

On Friday morning,12 February 2016, I got a phone call from France letting me know British artist Pip Culbert, based in France but with close connections and an exhibition history in New Zealand, had passed away after a long battle with cancer.  A wonderful artist and woman, Pip Culbert was born in 1938Read 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