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Judy Turner – textile collector

Monday 14 May, 5:45 pm - 7pm


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Te Papa recently acquired a selection of items from Judy Turner’s extensive collection of textiles, which are predominantly from the far East, Asia and West Africa. In conversation with Claire Regnault, Judy will introduce these pieces giving the background stories which represent so intimately other people’s lives.  

Judy started her collection while on a UK Foreign Office posting to Beijing in 1963 and has built it over the years through extensive travels, dealers, auctions, gifts and chance.

In many places textiles are the major form of artistic expression and the skills of dyers, weavers and embroiderers are highly valued.  The textiles have ritual significance and are much more than clothes and furnishings.  Judy will explain what each piece is used for, the techniques used in its making, its cultural significance in its place of origin, and the travels that have bought it, finally, to Wellington.

Judy has studied textiles for many years and says “I have learned more history and geography from researching textiles than I ever did at school”. She has curated a number of specialist exhibitions and one of her projects was to write up an overview of the Asian textiles in the Te Papa collection.

You will hear about her life as a collector, the roads travelled and the adventures had and the friends made.  You will also see a few extra examples to illustrate interesting facets of textile techniques and history.

Feature image: detail of a Choli from the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo courtesy of Miranda Turner.


Member $15, non-member $20. Includes parking.

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