Three versions of the painting Rutu

Rita Angus’s painting, Rutu, is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most iconic portraits. Here, Conservator Paintings Linda Waters reveals some of the hidden histories she learned while preparing Rutu for exhibition.Read more

Watercolour painting of a blue vase with thick branches of yellow blossoming flowers. Prickly thorns can be seen over the lip of tha vase.

In 2020, Te Papa acquired an 1897 watercolour painting by Margaret Stoddart that had been given the title Yellow blossom and rosemary by the cataloguers. But what are those blossoms, really? And is that rosemary in the vase, or something else? Here, Curator of Historical Art, Rebecca Rice unpacks the painting and suggests it could be somewhat pricklier than it first appears.Read more

The team on the steps of the Maungapohatu marae: Kerry, Heidi, Karen, Sarah, Willie, Atamira, Antony, Paora and Stephanie, Dec 2020.

In December 2020, Te Papa botanists Heidi Meudt and Antony Kusabs were in the field with three North Island iwi: Tamakaimoana, Ngāti Porou, and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui. Worryingly, their search for rare forget-me-nots was unsuccessful. But their collaborative mahi struck a meaningful chord.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

Making a collection of Myosotis glabrescens (SP108859). Feb 2020. Photo by Heidi Meudt @ Te Papa.

Botany Researcher Heidi Meudt is on a mission to find and make new research collections of all native New Zealand forget-me-nots. It can be a challenge to find some of them, particularly if we don’t know a lot about them or where they are to be found. Read more

Woman holding a bone in a room full of drawers and shelves

The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage visited Te Papa’s natural history collection today to make an announcement that will be widely celebrated by the museum sector, as well as by anyone who values and appreciates New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage as Curator Vertebrates Colin Miskelly explains.Read more