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

Mural painted onto a garage of the Palestinian flag with a cityscape painted over top and the words ‘Livin in lockdown’

In February we ran a workshop focussing on the Covid-19 experiences of people from international student and migrant backgrounds (including partners and family members), co-facilitated by researcher Sarah Jane D. Lipura. Here, Curator Asian New Zealand Histories Dr Grace Gassin shares insights from the kōrero. If there is one thingRead more

Doctors scrubs made of material featuring highly decorative Polynesian motifs in brown and black

It’s been a year since Aotearoa New Zealand went into lockdown in a move to restrict the spread of Covid-19. During this month-long period people sought to process the magnitude of what was happening through creative expression and entrepreneurial adaptations. Read about three taonga that Te Papa has collected to tell the story of this time.Read more

Madi Ojala is a Museum and Heritage Studies student at Victoria University who has been completing a Summer Internship at Te Papa. She discusses Adkin’s geological excursions and the appeal of working with Adkin’s prints, albums and diaries.Read more

Because they are small and don’t come in big numbers, they’re often overseen and most people don’t even know of their existence. Invertebrates curator Julia Kasper introduces New Zealand native bees, and explains why they are so important, their biggest threats, and what is being done to help.Read more