The Attic

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




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

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Save the Date! Opening Weekend Saturday 14 November 2015.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Part Two – Getting Busy)

Our collections team are busy installing the Attic exhibitions right now, so this seems like a good time to reveal a few behind the scenes antics. According to Assistant Registrar, Taila Roth, they’re actually ‘pre-installing’, which means bringing in cases and large objects, organising mounts, lighting and other technical stuff, like painting the giant’s castle. It sounds really fancy, but what it looks like most of the time, is pictured above. Continue reading “Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Part Two – Getting Busy)”

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?”
“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”

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