Archive for June, 2013

Otago Museum reaching for the stars

Taieri River in flood

Taieri River in flood

I’ve just come back to damp Wellington after a brief visit to the wintery/watery south.  Flying into Dunedin over the Taieri River flowing clay-coloured between its stopbanks amid waterlogged fields, I found a very warm welcome despite the weather. In fact the sun came out in the afternoon and the suggestion was made that Dunedin should be known for being ‘not cold, but cool!’.

I was in Dunedin for the formal welcome for Dr Ian Griffin, who has taken up the directorship of Otago Museum.  It was a great pleasure to be there and join with museum colleagues, mayors, board members, university and community representatives, in supporting Ian’s appointment. It is also very good to be welcoming Otago Museum back as members of Museums Aotearoa.

Dr Ian Griffin

Dr Ian Griffin

Ian gave a very thoughtful address, outlining his ideas about what museums are and do – they change lives – and his vision for Otago Museum.  I particularly liked his story of a young girl visiting a renewed Otago Museum with her family in 5 years time, and being inspired to go on to found a biotechnology company and become New Zealand’s first female Nobel Laureate.

Being an astronomer, Ian knows a lot about stars, and is keen on the idea of a permanent planetarium at the museum … You can read the full story on Ian Griffin’s blog here.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa

News Update 18 June 2013

Kia ora,

Rā whānau ki a koe, Puke Ariki – celebrating their 10th birthday with a party at the weekend. Their Facebook page has lovely photos of their cake and photo competition.

We’re enjoying so many museums celebrating both Matariki and Maori Language week. One collaboration we like – and hope to get to – is Carter Observatory’s planetarium shows featuring a live 30 minute presentation told exclusively in Te Reo, by Khali Philip-Barbara from Te Papa.

MTG Hawke’s Bay’s team member Ken Miles supports the 1957 Grande Bagnante III sculpture as it receives a CT scan. The sculpture fondly known as the “Bather” is by Emilio Greco from the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi collection, 47922.

MTG Hawke’s Bay’s team member Ken Miles supports the 1957 Grande Bagnante III sculpture as it receives a CT scan. The sculpture fondly known as the “Bather” is by Emilio Greco from the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi collection, 47922.

We also liked this photo of a sculpture getting a CT scan from MTG Hawke’s Bay, part of their preparations to move back into their new building.

The Ministry for Culture & Heritage has announced the 2013/14 round of Regional Museums Policy funding with a media release from Minister Christopher Finlayson. He says that about $3 million will be available to assist “regional museums and art galleries that house collections of national significance to improve access to and care of these collections through major construction projects.” Applications close at 5pm on Friday 12 July 2013.

In Australia, a resale royalty scheme was introduced 3 years ago. This requires all resales of art over $1000 to be reported, with a 5% royalty payable to the artist on some sales, and is something that NZ has looked at as well. Now the Australian Copyright Agency is doing a Post Implementation Review, and we’ll be interested to see how the scheme is working.

Northland Museums Association met at Heritage Kaikohe last week, with over 40 people from museums large and small gathering for a presentation by Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare and workshop sessions on governance lead by Lesley Moffat. Its great to see active regional networking, and later this year MA will be convening other meetings around the country. The first is in Napier on 11 July. These will be an opportunity for members to meet, share ideas, hear from speakers, and give feedback to MA Board and staff. Keep an eye on these notices for dates and more details. And if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed in your area, please let us know.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

Karen Verdurmen, Curator at Mercury Bay Museum has come across an Iron Collection found at the Bay Laundromat. Unfortunately this is not something they can keep but Karen wondered if another museum might be interested. They cover the whole era of electric irons. Starting with the ones that had to be put into a light socket. For more information on the collection contact Mercury Bay Museum info@mercurybaymuseum.co.nz.

Karen Verdurmen, Curator at Mercury Bay Museum has come across an Iron Collection found at the Bay Laundromat. Unfortunately this is not something they can keep but Karen wondered if another museum might be interested. They cover the whole era of electric irons. Starting with the ones that had to be put into a light socket. For more information on the collection contact Mercury Bay Museum info@mercurybaymuseum.co.nz.

News Update 4 June 2013

Kia ora,

The new MA Board met for the first time in Wellington on 13 May. We reviewed feedback from the MA13 conference and Kahui Kaitiaki, and planned priority activities for the coming months. We are excited to be working on a series of regional forums for members and museum staff to get together to discuss key issues. The first of these will be in Napier on 11 July.

MA13 conference material is now online, including videos of keynote presentations on YouTube.

We are delighted to see that Auckland Museum, finalist in the 2013 NZ Museum Awards for its energy saving project, is now a finalist in the Green Ribbon Awards to be announced at Parliament tomorrow (World Environment Day).

Dr Ian Griffin, new Director of Otago Museum has told Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon that ‘museums are absolutely critical to any civilised society’. Listen to the interview to hear more of his background and ideas about museums in general and Otago Museum in particular.

The Museums Australia conference in Canberra was a good opportunity to see how colleagues across the Tasman are dealing with very similar challenges and issues as we are. In some areas they seem to be doing well – while funding is always an issue, the general feeling was positive, and some exciting projects were showcased. In engagement with indigenous and diverse communities there was recognition that there is much that Australia can learn from Aotearoa. Canberra was in celebratory mood, with a year-long programme of festivals and events marking its centenary. While I wasn’t in the right place at the right time to see it floating above the city, Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale hot-air balloon sculpture occasioned much discussion alongside the more serious conference topics.

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

On the way back from Canberra I stopped in at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum in Jervis Bay. I had not planned the visit – it was raining, the museum happened to be well-signposted, and I was looking for a break from driving. While I didn’t wander the extensive grounds and outbuildings because of the rain, there was plenty to see inside besides the centrepiece Sydney Harbour ferry ‘Lady Denman’ (1911-1979) which was built nearby. The museum has the eclectic collection of miscellany you expect in a community museum, including local history, shipwreck stories, and an extensive personal collection of surveyors’ instruments and maritime memorabilia. As a hub for its community, I experienced the strains of the local men’s choir rehearsing, a delightful volunteer who wanted to share her enthusiasm for every aspect of the museum, and could have purchased local art and craft. In addition, I found that the museum manager (and only paid staff member) was MA member Melinda Loe, formerly of Te Papa and more recently the Rocks Discovery Museum in Sydney. Mel has been there a few months now, and would love more visits from fellow New Zealanders.

He tangata, He tangata, He tangata! the theme for National Volunteer week, 16-22 June. This is a special time to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work of volunteers, without whom many museums simply could not operate. See Volunteering NZ for resources and ideas. Also coming up is Maori Language Week, 1-7 July, with the theme Ngā Ingoa Māori – Māori names. Coming alongside Matariki, there are ideas, activities and resources on the Korero Māori website and MLW Facebook page.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

STOP PRESS – MA14 conference, Napier, 2-4 April 2014

Reserve the dates now, and send us your ideas any time. We’ll put out a preliminary call for contributions very soon.


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