As happens regularly in museums, we have recently been updating an exhibit at Space Place at Carter Observatory. This means ‘resting’ objects that have been on display, swapping in objects that have not been on display, returning items that we have on loan from generous individuals or institutions, and refreshing graphics and interpretation panels. Along the way we might go through the archives and rediscover stories hidden away like old scrapbooks at the back of a cupboard.
Peter Read, the People’s Astronomer, was an iconic figure on 1960s and 70s New Zealand television. There is a special place for him at Carter Observatory, and at NZ On Screen. Digging through one of our digital cupboards, we rediscovered these wonderful old images from a 2010 Carter Observatory exhibition about Peter. Some of them are from his time in the US witnessing the Apollo 15 launch. They are affecting for capturing a specific time and place while focusing so fervently on space and the future. They also tell part of Peter’s story, as do the film clips of his long-running television show ‘Night Sky’. The refreshed Peter Read exhibit should soon be installed at Space Place at Carter Observatory; in the meantime enjoy this online exhibition. And look out for a special Wellington feature at the end featuring a whole lot of history you won’t want to miss (but you may want to forget!)
“To look back and see the Earth out the window about the size of a marble truly changes a man. Has to change a man. Has to make a man truly appreciate what we have… our beautiful and fragile planet…” Jim Irwin, astronaut.
Eclipse of the sun! The first space walks! Interviews with Astronauts! First steps on the moon! Rocket launches! Life in space! Click to watch…
1968 Wellington: blinkered chickens, unlocked cars, turkeys in gumboots and casual sexism! Not to mention hair! Accents! Poetry on Wellington streets! click below…
With thanks to Peter Read’s family, Haritina Mogosanu, and Catherine Crisp.