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Photo Friday -Wandering through Te Papa with a camera

April 16, 2010

Keeping with this week’s museum theme I visited New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa in Wellington early 2010. This museum has never portrayed itself as anything but fun and interactive.  Kids love visiting, there’s plenty of space to roam around in and they get to play with some of the exhibits while parents enjoy a break. Curious kids can go into the earthquake house and get a sense of what it’s like when the earth moves.

Te Papa by Cate

Te Papa’s a place that leaves me wanting more, not because there is so much to see, if anything there is very little to see. A little odd when museums are supposedly rammed with collections. The layout of Te Papa’s permanent collections leads you on a journey through New Zealand’s settlement from Maori, European, the Tagata Pasifika (Pacific Island) peoples and the recent wave of Asian migrants.

Signs of a Nation Te Papa image by Cate

In keeping with the New Zealand psyche, there is a kitsch collection which includes this beauty:

Jeff Thomson corrugated iron Holden Te Papa, image by Cate

I love the design of Te Papa, the lines and curves and use of colours, the building resembles large paint pots. It has also been well-engineered to withstand earthquakes as it sits on reclaimed land in the hub of Wellington’s fault lines.

Both cafés and restaurant inside are popular with visitors and conferences and the outdoor nature walk draws families and plant enthusiasts. Even better — photography is generally allowed throughout except in visiting exhibitions (something I’m not overly thrilled about).

Entry and rest time in Te Papa are free.

by Cate

More photo Friday goodies can be viewed @ Delicious Baby, enjoy your weekend!

Caffeinated Traveller

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6 Comments
  1. April 16, 2010 5:48 pm

    I love museums in general but interactive museums are really fun. I appreciate that Te Papa is free and filled with engaging, kitschy displays. I think I’d have a lot of fun there.

  2. April 17, 2010 5:01 pm

    I love the architectural elements of the museum you’ve captured here….especially the last image with the circular window and the repeated curve and horizontal lines of the scene outside of the window.
    I’ve heard some museums explain that they don’t allow photos of visiting exhibitions as a rule because those are items they don’t own the rights to…or may be unsure of what may be protected by a copyright owned by the loaning museum or entity.

  3. April 19, 2010 8:53 am

    Fly – girl if you enjoy kitsch you would probably love Te Papa and New Zealand itself. Kiwis love kitsch.

    Dominique – thank you, the museum’s design engages the camera. Copyright does seem to be a problem for museums but I also think it’s an easy excuse for the museum. Cameras are everywhere and times have changed, but museums still continue with rigid rules.

  4. April 19, 2010 9:18 am

    Our science museum (COSI) underwent a transformation several years ago and was moved from an older building to a brand new contemporary setting. The design elements are good, and the museum has some terrific interactive features, but it does feel (to many) like content was sacrificed in favor of broadening the museum’s appeal. We still visit from time to time, but I guess I miss some of the kitschy displays I remember from the old building.

  5. April 19, 2010 8:39 pm

    Hi Heather!

    Sometimes changes are not for the better, what used work fine probably didn’t needed fixing especially if the content is now missing from COSI. Makes you wonder what they’re are thinking about: business or preservation or both?

  6. April 29, 2010 5:08 pm

    Thanks again for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

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