At the end of 2013, Te Papa started working on a series of creative responses to Colin McCahon’s Walk (Series C) (1973) – long an artistic trigger. We approached poet and writer Greg O’Brien who agreed to work with us. Greg contacted some of New Zealand’s most well-known poets. OverRead more

James Brown, Writer On 12 and 13 May, writer and artist Gregory O’Brien gave a series of workshops to school groups about collaborations between artists and writers, and the ongoing conversation between art and text. I sat in on one. I work at Te Papa as part of the WritingRead more

It was one of the best days this year for me:  walking along the vast, luminous west coast beach with jeweller Alan Preston. He strolled, collecting shells with an eye on the tide and recalled Colin McCahon’s influence on his work, White Foreshore.  McCahon’s years at Muriwai are reflected in hisRead more

After a successful season at the Venice Biennale, in Paris and Christchurch, Michael Parekowhai’s On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer will make its final stop at the national museum, Te Papa. Opening Saturday 25 August, a specially reconfigured installation will be shown in a single gallery space for four weeksRead more

Recently Te Papa’s art educator Helen Lloyd and I have been working together to compile a list of some of the best quotes by well-known New Zealand artists. Quotes about art and art making. We’re interested in quotes which really get to the heart of why artists make work. Helen,Read more

Installation shots from Toi Te Papa exhibition: Henry Lamb’s painting Death of a peasant, 1911. At left, framing by Te Papa about 1970; at right, frame put on by the artist in 1911, and now returned to the painting. © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Staging the show I rest my eye for a moment on the frame, taking a break from the work of looking hard at the painting I have come to see. Then, returning to the work at hand, I become conscious, if only just, of an adjustment to my perception; thatRead more

This is my opening post in a series to discuss approaches to the framing of paintings. This first one is a response to William McAloon’s post: Freedom to act and takes his blog post as a point of departure. I look at some of the issues involving the sympathetic framingRead more

  The other night we hung the two McCahons we bought last year – Scared and Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum. They’ve gone up in Toi Te Papa. In the mid-1970s Colin McCahon did a lot of paintings on a thick high quality paper called Steinbach. Legend has it that McCahon’s dealerRead more

Te Papa has a strong collection of Colin McCahon’s early religious works, including three paintings from 1947 that depict events from story of the Passion: Christ taken from the cross, Entombment (after Titian), and King of the Jews. One of the enduring myths surrounding McCahon’s early paintings is that wereRead 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