Te Papa Tongarewa

Today was the day we visited Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), the Museum of New Zealand. I had incredibly high expectations as I’ve heard nothing but amazing things. I am happy to say that Te Papa definitely lived up to these expectations and in some areas, exceeded them. We spent most of the day exploring the museum and its numerous fascinating exhibitions that are spread over five levels. The day included a highlights tour, a walk through most permanent exhibition spaces, and a visit to the travelling exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. Similar to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I am going to provide an overview of how we spent our day.

10.00 am

Te Papa doesn’t technically open until 10.00 am (everyday except Christmas Day). We arrived at 9.50 am so that I could take a few photographs of the exterior. We were surprised to discover that the museum had already opened – well not all of it. The cloakroom and ticket desks were open, but, the exhibitions were still roped off. Still, this is a great idea to ease crowd congestion building up outside before the museum officially opens and stagger the groups of people arriving wanting to cloak/buy tickets.Read More »

Wellington Museum

I have absolutely fallen in love with Wellington. And I’m saying this before having visited Te Papa, aka the main reason why we’ve come here. I literally select my next holiday destination based on what museums I am really wanting to visit. As well as Te Papa, I was looking forward to visiting the Wellington Museum which is located in the old Bond Store on Wellington’s waterfront. Originally, the building housed a small maritime collection. Over time, however, it has been transformed into a museum that tells the story of Wellington.

Like quite a few museums I have reviewed in the past, the only significant issue I had with this museum was that it was text-heavy. I was pretty much finished with reading after the first level. In saying this, however, there were some really interesting labels – I’ll talk more about this later. I’m going to go level-by-level and comment on a few highlights.Read More »

State Library of Queensland: Home: a suburban obsession

In the late 1960s to early 1970s, Frank Corley drove around almost every suburb in Brisbane taking photographs of as many houses as he could. Eunice Corley, his wife, developed these photographs in a makeshift darkroom. The photographs were then handed to salespeople who would try and sell homeowners a special photograph of their home packaged in a cardboard calendar for 85 cents. It is estimated, in today’s money, that this could have been a million dollar enterprise. The photographs that were not purchased, approximately 60 000, were kept by Frank until his passing then donated to the State Library of Queensland.

The photographs have been sitting in archival boxes for years, used occasionally by history groups and for specific research purposes. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the decision was made to make these images public and curate an exhibition to showcase what is in the collection.Read More »