President’s Column: October 2013

President’s Column: October 2013

Tena koutou katoa

Joint efforts by the Friends, Te Papa and Wellington Regional Council to build mutually beneficial relationships with regional galleries and museums and their support groups have been very well received. In late August we had a full busload for our trip to Aratoi in Masterton where Curator Haami Te Whaiti set the historical context for the settling of the Wairarapa and Collections Manager Bronwyn Reid showed us some of the fascinating artefacts, both domestic and artistic, preserved in the storerooms. A stopover for lunch and retail therapy in historic Greytown rounded out a most enjoyable day. Such was the interest in this outing that a repeat is being organised in early October following outreach visits to Pataka, the Dowse and Expressions.

Happily this “sharing of the treasures” works both ways and the Friends have been able to facilitate a free look for over 300 regional friends at the Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America exhibition now on at Te Papa.

The national role and importance of Te Papa and its collections and scholarship have figured prominently in the recent strategic thinking of the Te Papa Board and Management and also of the Friends’ Executive Committee. Thus the announcement by the Minister for Culture and Heritage of a joint partnership by Government and Te Papa, in cooperation with Auckland authorities and institutions, to develop a business case for building a national centre for collections, learning and touring exhibitions in Manukau is an exciting initiative. I urge Friends to read the full statement outlining the concept.  Links to the relevant documents are here.

There was an excellent attendance for the Friends-sponsored lecture by Dr Roberta Bacic on the evolution of arpilleras – the embroidered Chilean protest banners – which have now become an international art form. (For those who didn’t attend, you can read a review of the lecture and download the illustrated presentation here.)  Our very busy programme of events in Wellington continues apace with something of a Latin American flavour.  We have just celebrated the launch of the blockbuster exhibition Aztecs: Conquest and glory which will have a free-look for members all day from 9am on Saturday 5 October.

Enjoy yourselves and spread the word about the benefits of membership of the Friends!

Nga mihi

Gordon Shroff



Presidents’ Column: August 2013

Presidents’ Column: June 2013