Tēnā koutou,

Ngā mihi

Spring is shaping up to be a very busy time for the Friends of Te Papa. An exciting new season of exhibitions has just opened in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa. Many of you enjoyed the Friends’ viewing of European Splendour 1500-1800, highlighting objects from a world of richness and luxury cleverly enhanced against a backdrop of sumptuous dark purples and blues.  But besides the jewel-box opulence of European Splendour, there is a widely varied range of works to explore: the influence of international minimalism on Ralph Hotere and Matt Pine; exquisite nineteenth century images of the beautiful Pink and White Terraces before the 1886 Tarawera eruption; prints by New Zealand and Australian artists in response to the Anzac print portfolio; and the New Zealand premiere of Simon Denny’s Secret Power from the 2015 Venice Biennale Exhibition.

I am looking forward to Justine Olsen’s floor talk on Thursday 22 September in Inspired, the elegant exhibition of beautiful ceramics and jewellery which includes the Friends 2015 gift, Pablo Picasso’s earthenware jug, Picador.

Not to be missed, is Martin Heard’s talk on 9 October, European Artists of the First World Warthe triumph of the Avant-Garde, which will look at how the trauma of war experience, for those artists that survived, ironically inspired some of the world’s greatest works of art depicting warfare and conflict.

If you are a keen follower of fashion, or fascinated by the cultural and social significance of fashion, diary Dr Valerie Steele’s lecture on Saturday 10 December. Valerie is the director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. And don’t forget that on 27 November, John Gillow will return with more gorgeous vintage textiles from Asia and Africa, to inspire your own fashion creativity.

So escape the chilly winds of spring and join us in a fabulous feast of art

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay