The back of the canvas

Poedua is an oil painting on stretched canvas, meaning the composition is painted on a fabric support which is stretched to keep it evenly tensioned, over an expandable wooden stretcher.  Canvas supports began to replace traditional wooden panel supports from about the 16th century and were the most commonly used typeRead more

Welcome to the first blog to keep you up-to-date with the conservation treatment of John Webber’s portrait of Poedua.  Katherine Campbell and I, the two paintings conservators here at Te Papa, will aim to post fortnightly on the progress of our work, offering you insight into what happens to aRead more

Nets set up to see what small creatures might be swept off the land and into the atmosphere – to be transported across the oceans! Photo reproduced courtesy of Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition

Right now, on New Zealand’s southernmost island group, a team of 11 researchers and their support crew are wandering around the cold, windswept Campbell Island, studying the island’s rich ecology and history, and its recovery from decades of grazing and the world’s largest island rat eradication. And you can followRead more

On the weekend down in Canterbury, apart from the horrific earthquake, there was an extremely unusual dolphin stranding. A 1.8m male Hourglass dolphin came ashore at Flea Bay. Only a handful of complete specimens of this species have ever been dissected before. Although they are sometimes seen in the Southern OceanRead more

Why I love Christchurch, by Jireh of South New Brighton School

When I got to work this morning, this was waiting for me: A few weeks back, we asked pupils from some of the schools in New Zealand to send us a postcard telling them why they love their town for our Conservation Week display. This year the theme is WeRead more

Aside from ferns, my main research interest is the group of trees known as Pseudopanax, for which I collaborate with Lara Shepherd from the Allan Wilson Centre. Pseudopanax includes the lancewoods and five-fingers. Several of the species are popular in cultivation, including fierce lancewood (Pseudopanax ferox). This species is soRead more

The rare, tetraploid maidenhair spleenwort  (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens) has only recently been rediscovered in New Zealand.  Several people have contacted me with possible additional sightings. As described by the Scoop website, Jack Ritchie had a maidenhair spleenwort self-sow on a rock used to construct a water feature in hisRead more