We have men at work on the squid tank again today. I caught up with Don, one of our contractors, just before he was heading off to lunch after a hard morning’s work on the tank. He’s putting in a second pump and filter system into one end of the squidRead more

More news from the squid tank. This morning I caught up with Robert Clendon the conservator who is looking after the work on the squid. Over the past few weeks we’ve been a bit concerned about the hooks on the tentacles and the arms. It looked as though the hooks could beRead more

On Tuesday we started remedial work on the colossal squid and her tank. Things are going very well and to schedule. Yesterday we put up the barriers around the tank and lifted up the huge lid, using a forklift. We then drained most of the liquid out of the tank.Read 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

Science curator Leon Perrie explains ‘Punga’ is a quintessential Kiwi word used to refer to tree ferns or sometimes, more specifically, the trunks of tree ferns. Read 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

Botany has recently acquired a unique collection: a special group of calcified red algae known as the corallines. Coralline algae are abundant and ubiquitous throughout the world’s oceans, playing very important roles in marine ecosystems. The encrusting, or crustose, species can form unusual lumpy, warty-looking layers in the intertidal, sometimesRead more

The maidenhair spleenwort is a spleenwort fern (Asplenium) that (supposedly) looks like a maidenhair fern (Adiantum, see below). The 600 or so of the world’s spleenworts are characterised by having their reproductive structures in lines away from the margins of their fronds’ undersides. Two maidenhair spleenworts occur in New Zealand.Read 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

Treaty debates 2009 Māori in Parliament and the future of the Māori seats Claudia Geiringer, co-chair, comment on the two speakers: There is a great deal of food for thought in the two speeches, and it is clear from them that the future of the Māori seats remains a hotlyRead more

Valentine’s Day and red roses are inextricably linked. Here is a bouquet of rose -inspired objects from our collections.Read more