Search

Tag

Curators

Our Science Wahine

Sexism in Science has been a fairly well-publicised issue in recent months, with several articles and the publication of a new BWB text Why Science is Sexist by Nicola Gaston. I have been wanting to write about our Science Curators for some time as they both have fascinating and diverse backgrounds, they’re both women with international careers, and they’re both curators primarily at Space Place at Carter Observatory. Strong evidence of why it’s important to make sure prejudice doesn’t hold girls & women back! Here are their stories in their own words:

Dr Claire Bretherton

moonmain2

As a child I was always fascinated by the stars, looking up to the sky and wondering what was out there. I remember  going outside with Dad to see Halley’s comet in 1986. I grew up in a small village near Winchester in the south of England. We had pretty dark skies with no street lights along our road, but even so it was pretty hard to spot and didn’t quite live up to the spectacular previous visit in 1910 when Carter Observatory’s Cooke Telescope was amongst the first in the world to photograph the comet. Rather than being deterred, this just inspired me to find out more.

Continue reading “Our Science Wahine”

I was photographing everything – Alison Jones

One of the great pleasures of opening The Attic at Wellington Museum has been seeing visitors spot themselves or their family members in the exhibits. We’ve had a visit from the granddaughter of the architect of our 1890 building, Frederick de Jersey Clere, and from the grandchildren of Ken Coles who features in the 1956 Chimpanzee Tea Party film. One of our most popular exhibits has been ‘Working on the Job’, a series of images of New Zealand Rail in Wellington in the 1990s, taken by then-clippie Alison Jones. It is with some delight that people recognise places and faces in the images, and sometimes even see themselves. Our Social History Curator, Nik Bullard, has curated an excerpt of the show for our first online exhibition. Also featured below is a brief but exclusive interview between Nik and Alison. If you want to see more, you can find it in The Attic

2005-5043-16

2005-5043-18

2005-5043-1

2005-5043-6 Continue reading “I was photographing everything – Alison Jones”

Looking After the Future as well as the Past: Human Rights in Museums

Most people think of museums as repositories for nice old stuff, interactive exhibits and historical or scientific information. While it’s true we have some nice old stuff (and the other bits), the modern museum often has priorities that have more to do with who we are now and who we wish to be. How does our old stuff inform that? This is where museum perspectives and traditional Māori perspectives might meet: for Māori, our past lies in front of us, leading us towards our future. In other words, we cannot know where we are going unless we know where we’ve been.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) conference at Te Papa. Human rights are not generally the first thing most people think of when they consider museums, but as UN youth delegate Melissa Gibson noted in her closing panel remarks, FIHRM  transforms perceptions of what museums are for, and how they can affect our lives.

Continue reading “Looking After the Future as well as the Past: Human Rights in Museums”

Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Part One – Getting Emotional)

There was some sadness expressed this week after Auckland Museum announced the finale of their longest running exhibition – Centennial Street, also known as Auckland 1866.   Historical streets in museums often evoke cherished museum memories – sometimes the most vivid or only memories. There is something extraordinary about these re-creations of times and places we can no longer access any other way. For many of us, being close to historical objects, absorbing a facsimile of historical space, or being encapsulated in an historical frame, however limited, is the closest we can get to time travel.  My earliest museum memories include Whanganui Regional Museum’s Edwardian street, and if they ever decide to pull it down I will most likely throw a full tantrum.

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Part One – Getting Emotional)”

The Little Wellington Museum by the Sea

“Wellington Museum? Oh, you mean Te Papa?”
“No.”
“Where is it?”
“On the waterfront, about ten minutes walk from Te Papa, towards the Railway Station.”
“…”
“It used to be called Museum of Wellington City and Sea?”
“Ah… I love that museum!’

It can go either way really – complete puzzlement or absolute delight. There are around twenty staff who work at Wellington Museum daily, and we’ve all had a version of this conversation, multiple times. It can seem like Wellington Museum, as we are now called, is one of Wellington’s best kept secrets. Continue reading “The Little Wellington Museum by the Sea”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑