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

Skin Deep Differences Don’t Matter in Katipo Having spent my last two postings dealing with butterflies and moths, it’s time to move on to the animals I love the most – spiders! The subject of this posting is the katipo spider (Latrodectus katipo), New Zealand’s only endemic spider known toRead more

On our last day in New Plymouth we met with Govett-Brewster Art Gallery staff and SCANZ (Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand) artists. SCANZ involves  a residency, exhibition and symposium for artists working with new media and technology. James gave a brief talk about his work to Gallery staff and artistsRead more

Mr Alfred Sharpe has just returned from a three weeks’ sketching tour in the Bay of Islands district, with a well-filled portfolio of sketches, and with a number of orders from the residents of that district. The sketches comprise views of Russell, Paihia, Waitangi, Ngaheiu, Pakaraka, Pouerua, Ohaeawai, Waimate, Kawakawa,Read more

Since I posted introducing One Day Sculpture and visiting artist James Luna, who is developing a project to be presented at Te Papa, Megan, James and I have been to Auckland and back. In Auckland James gave a talk at the Auckland Art Gallery‘s Art Lounge as part of theirRead more

By Chris Paulin and Alan Tennyson Recently, a group of researchers in New Zealand suggested that the absence of fossils between 25 and 22 million years ago indicated that the islands completely disappeared under water, and then later re-emerged. But a newly discovered fossil reptile suggests this theory does notRead more

Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum, the Colin McCahon painting we bought at the end of last year, arrived at Te Papa recently. It’s great to see it again. Like most paintings, there’s a lot about this work that you don’t get until you see it in the flesh. There’s beauty of theRead more

What do you think of the Māori seats in Parliament? On Thursday 5 February @ 6.30 – 8 p.m. two speakers will deal with this provocative issue – The role of Māori in Parliament and the future of the Māori seats. Professor Philip Joseph and Derek Fox will discuss this topic as part of Te Papa’sRead more

This post is inspired by Smiv’s reminiscences about cinnabar moth caterpillars when commenting on my previous blog entry. Also, as adult cinnabar moths are on the wing this time of year in New Zealand summer and sightings always generate a number of calls to Te Papa’s entomology department, I thoughtRead more

Don’t judge a book by its cover, the saying goes. There’s no doubt, though, that a book’s cover can say an awful lot about what’s inside. Deciding what work should go on the cover of the forthcoming book Art at Te Papa — Michael Illingworth’s Untitled 1971 — wasn’t easy.  WeRead more