The latest news is again full of activities associated with the Rugby World Cup. Other stories include local government funding issues, distribution of Skyhawks and repatriation from French museums. The round up is here in our members’ area, where the puzzle-minded can play spot the mistake – clue: technology vs education!
MA12 conference, Wellington, 18-20 April 2012
We had a record response to the Call for Papers, and the MA12 planning team is meeting later this week to wrangle it all into a cohesive conference programme. MA12 is already looking very exciting and inspiring, with lots to do in the ‘coolest little capital’ as well as the conference programme itself. Look out for announcements of international keynote speakers and preliminary programme soon, with registration to open in December.
MOTAT’s acres of aircraft
Among all the hoopla around major museum openings and ‘that’ sport tournament, MOTAT has quietly opened another 2500 sq m of aircraft display in an innovative timber building with a 42m column-free span nearly 16m high. Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, the new building is is linked to the old aviation hall, at left below, which has been completely re-fitted.
Environmentally conscious and interesting architecturally, an air layer between timber screens and the external wall helps to control light and temperature. The huge space requires only a low provision of mechanical heating, and glazing to specific areas of gallery space maximises natural light where appropriate. reducing the need for artificial lighting.
The internal open floor area of the new display hall is the largest clear span timber portal frame structure in New Zealand. Prefabrication meant the actual contstruction period was quite quick. The concrete floor had to be laid in one go – that meant a 2.00am start for the concrete crew and 104 concrete trucks taking their turn to pour.
There are plenty of aircraft on display lovingly cared for by MOTAT’s teams of enthusiasts. The new complex is named after aviation hero Sir Keith Park.
Changing the guard in the UK
From 1 October, new arrangements for the delivery of responsibilities previously undertaken by the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) take effect. This follows the previously announced decision to close the MLA as part of a government review designed to reduce the number of arms-length agencies. Arts Council England takes over museums and libraries responsibilities, including the Renaissance programme, Museum Accreditation, and Library Development, together with cultural property services such as Export Licensing and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme Some MLA staff have moved to posts with the Arts Council to help deliver these functions and responsibilities. Sir Andrew Motion, MLA Chair said: “The MLA Board wishes the Arts Council and The National Archives all the best and looks forward to them building on all the achievements of the sector, and the work of the MLA, to help bring about better and more accessible museum, library and archive services for the public.” Resources on the MLA website will remain live until 31 March 2012, by which time relevant material will be transferred to the Arts Council and Archives sites.
Jock Phillips has been travelling the country for the REAL NZ Festival writing a blog as the ‘Insider’, sharing his view of some great places and events.
Albertland & Districts Museum in Wellsford has revamped its website, and is looking forward to the Albertlanders’ 150th celebrations over Easter 2012.
A redesign for online encyclopedia Te Ara gives clearer and quicker findability for a site that constantly amazes with its depth and breadth of information. And they explain what they’ve done and why on the Te Ara blog – a helpful insight into making a website more user-friendly.
There are lots of other events happening after the rugby. Coming up in November are the NDF (earlybird closes this week, Board nominations due Friday) and Conservators conferences and a further planning meeting for WW1 commemorations in Wellington, Museum Facilities conference in Auckland, Colenso symposium in Hawke’s Bay, and an event for Museums Aotearoa members in Christchurch. These are listed in detail below – I hope to see you there!
PS – Auckland Museum has teamed up with Māori Television to make a 13-part series featuring taonga from the museum and their stories. Tāmaki Paenga Hira is in Māori with English subtitles, and premiers on Māori Television at 8.30pm on Wednesday 19 October.