Presidents Column – May 2019

Presidents Column – May 2019

Kia ora,

Elizabeth Kay, President and Jane Kidd, amazing long time volunteer, drew this years winners for $50 Te Papa Store vouchers.

Thank you to all those members who have now renewed their subscriptions and congratulations to the winners of our membership draw. The last few months have been very busy for the Friends and Te Papa, with constant long queues for the fabulous summer exhibition, Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. A huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who successfully raised awareness of the Friends and helped grow the membership, or did hosting duty in Kerry Ann Lee’s ‘Dreamscape Transit Lounge’ installation, Return to Skyland.

And a special thank you and welcome to all new members who joined the Friends over the summer. We are delighted to have you and look forward to meeting you at an event soon. I am especially looking forward to visiting London lecturer and art expert Ian Swankie’s talk Romans and Romantics: The Guildhall Art Gallery. If you are planning to visit the UK, this hidden gem in the heart of the City of London will be a must see!

Soon to open in Te Papa is the exciting new Te TaiaoNature Space, the biggest revamp of our national museum since its opening in 1998. Make sure to diary our two exclusive Friends previews, from 4 pm to 6 pm, Thursday 9 May, or from 8 am to 10.00 am on Friday 10 May. We look forward to seeing you there! And do join us for another special Friends’ only event on Thursday 30 May, when we will celebrate the launch of the Te Papa Press book, 100 Natural History Treasures of Te Papa, the fascinating stories of 100 objects in the collections, from the colossal squid to flaming flag-fins, sea spiders to beaver fleas.

April 2019 marked 150 years since the birth of Dunedin-born artist Frances Hodgkins. Auckland Art Gallery have just opened Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys, the culmination of a decade-long international project to bring together over 150 art works from New Zealand and overseas, to explore the artist’s place in 20th century art. A visit to Auckland is highly recommended. Closer to home, Mahara Gallery in Waikanae are currently showing Frances Hodgkins, from Dunedin to Waikanae. In connection with the exhibition, on Sunday 19 May Mahara Gallery are offering a special study day, with guest speakers Charlotte Macdonald, Elizabeth Eastmond and Victoria Robson. You can find out more here.

Looking back as we prepare the annual reports, the Friends enjoyed an amazingly rich and busy programme this past year, offering some diverse 60 events including three away tours. Friends events often book out almost on listing, so make sure to keep watch on our website and book early. But, if you do miss out, please let the office know as sometimes we are able to arrange a repeat.

Lastly, with the Friends 2019 AGM on Tuesday 18 June fast approaching, if you would like to be more closely involved with Te Papa do consider joining the Committee. For more information, please get in touch with the Office.

Ngā mihi nui,

Elizabeth Kay,