Posts Tagged 'Ashburton Museum'

News update 14 September 2011

It’s all happening!  The fabulous opening of the new Auckland Art Gallery, Rotorua Museum’s beautiful extension, Whangarei Art Museum – and rugby events everywhere.

Auckland
Auckland celebrated magnificently for the re-opening of the Auckland Art Gallery.  There were various events, not-too-long speeches, much partying and lots of thank-yous, as well as rousing haka, thrilling waiata and a real live fanfare.  Now we really do have an art museum that is the equal of those in major overseas cities. A whole lot more of Auckland’s seriously good collection is on show, alongside the Robertson ‘Promised Gift’ of international masters, and some beautiful and inspiring new commissions.  The curatorial team have made the most of their ‘time out’ to thoughtfully recontextualise collection favourites and bring forgotten gems to light.  Of course it will be there for many years to come, but do go as soon as you can.

AAG lunchtime preview
lunchtime preview on opening day – nearly ready…
Chris Saines

Chris Saines' last speech at the official opening


AAG opening crowd

... before the crowd returns


AAG on Auckland waterfront
Auckland Art Gallery’s new branding is a hit with families on the waterfront walk

Rotorua
In Rotorua, I am told that a moving dawn ceremony was followed by a celebration which was suitably memorable – I regret that I could not be in both places at the same time.  However, I was delighted to go to Rotorua the following week, and see the superbly finished Don Stafford Wing, perfectly matching the orignial 100+ year old Bath House.  Inside, school groups and other visitors were totally engaged with the excellent new exhibits. And Pukaki – the ‘face’ of our 20 cent coin – has a fitting resting place at the entrance to the new galleries, which feature some magnificanet Te Arawa taonga from Auckland Museum as well as Rotorua’s own collection.  Another essential visit for museum people.

Pukaki welcomes visitors into the Don Stafford Wing at Rotorua Museum

Ashburton
There has been plenty of acrimony  over several years and a new flurry of protest in recent months as the Ashburton District Council debated whether or not to go ahead with plans for a new museum/art gallery/archive building. It’s great to see that the council has finally agreed to accept a $6.6 million tender and push ahead with it. Now there is only a building consent yet to be approved.  I do like the way the local paper reports every ‘he said, she said’ of the council debate – that way everyone knows who is on which side, and who is yet to be won over!

Diversity Award for Pataka
In other news, Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures has been recognised by the Human Rights Commission for its outstanding contribution to community-building and inclusiveness.  As HRC noted for Pataka’s Diversity Award, it “has become the cultural heart of Porirua City. In the 12 years since it opened Pataka has developed a reputation for showcasing the best in Maori, Pacific Island, New Zealand, Asian and other diverse international contemporary art & culture”.  See reports fromt he Diversity Awards and the Hamilton forum in August here.

Ethics of disposal
Those who were at MA11 in Nelson will recall a lively discussion of the ethics of disposal, which included the case of New Zealand-related objects fromthe British Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, UK, appearing on the open market with no provenance.  Another chapter in this saga has been published by The Art Newspaper. The article ‘Rise and fall of the British Empire Museum’ (3 Sep 2011) can be found here under the tag museums.

Official Information Act
In other news, the New Zealand media are again looking into losses and thefts of museum objects, especially the emotive topic of medals.  The recent arrest of an ex-NZ Army Museum staffer for stealing hundreds of medals shocked and surprised many, and has spurred some awkward Official Information Act (OIA) requests from the media.  One thing to note is that the OIA applies to government departments and to local government – but our advice is that organisations and collections which are governed by trusts are not covered.  This means that local government funded museums and galleries may be subject to the OIA for organisational matters, but collections that are the repsonsibility of a separate trust are not.  So if you are approached by journalists or others seeking information under the OIA, you may not be legally obliged to provide it – although you may decide to do so anyway in the public interest.

And elsewhere around the country, it’s hard to avoid mention of rugby.  Seemingly every museum and gallery has managed to relate current exhibitions and programmes to rugby in some way.  And a timely release this week of a Quarterly Focus report on visitor satisfaction by Tourism Research makes explicit correlation between visitor satisfaction, repeat visitation, and willingness to recommend – word of mouth being a hugely important factor in marketing the country as a destination as well as specific activities such as exhibitions and events. I hope all our RWC 2011 visitors are extremely satisfied with their experiences in museums and galleriesaround the country.

I wish you a busy and productive time while the country is consumed by rugby!

Ka kite,
Phillipa

Advertisements

Canterbury Earthquake Museum Update

Updated 31/3

Offers of help – We have had many offers of help from around the country.  Please email us and we’ll keep a register of offers for when those on the ground are ready for your support.

The latest from Christchurch is very grim, however, we have not heard of anyone being hurt in museums or galleries there. We have received a number of messages of support, and these are in the ‘Messages for Canterbury’ Discussion Board on our Facebook page here. Please add your own messages, either on our facebook page, or in the comments below, and hopefully our colleagues in Christchurch will be able to access these when their power and communications are restored.

We understand that most of the damage this time is confined to the city and Lyttelton areas. Here is what we have heard about Christchurch institutions so far.

Air Force Museum
Updated 24/2 Message from Director Thérèse Angelo:

Firstly, and most importantly all of the Museum staff and their families are safe and uninjured. As far as we have been able to ascertain, our volunteers are also OK. Some staff have damage to their homes but many live on the west side of Christchurch or in rural locations and have no damage to report at all.

The Museum itself is in good shape with only minor damage such as ceiling tiles down and fluorescent lights falling. A structural survey yesterday has given the buildings the green light to re-open when we wish. I understand we still have all services to the site but this may change over the next couple of days.

However, given the significant damage to local infrastructure, water, sewer and roading problems, along with petrol shortages, the Museum will remain closed until Monday at least. This also gives staff time to try and start processing the enormity of what has happened to Christchurch. Some staff have also headed out of town for a few days to settle jangled nerves.

Akaroa Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Arts Centre of Christchurch
No direct word, but news and internet photos show significant damage.

Canterbury Museum
Staff are all OK. The sprinklers were activated and lots of loose things moved around in the staff areas. The situation in the public and storage areas is unknown but presumed to be ‘a mess’ and some bits have fallen off the building. With the whole central city cordoned off, they do not expect to get back in until after the weekend. The museum server is completely out of action so no staff will be able to access their work e-mails, even from outside the museum.
Updated 25/2: Director Anthony Wright will be releasing a media statement shortly, check their site. Anthony has confirmed that all staff are OK, but some have had their homes completely destroyed. He was able to enter the museum today with structural engineers, who inspected all spaces from the basement to the roof in both the main museum building and the Robert McDougall building. Both have been declared structurally sound, which is great news. Otherwise, there is loose masonry on the building, and the exhibits look to be 95% ok upon initial inspection (although by torchlight). It is not known about collection damage in the collection areas, however the water damage from activated sprinklers is reportedly only in a small area. It will be several weeks before staff can be admitted back into the building.

Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA)
Updated 25/2:
The building is still standing, but everything has come off the walls. They will be postponing the Anthony Harper Award dates, as well as their planned recruitment for a new position.

Christchurch Art Gallery
Updated 24/2: Gallery staff are all accounted for and safe, apparently no structural damage – ‘we’re in good shape considering all that has happened’. CAG is once again starring on TV news as the Civil Defence HQ, and will be closed until further notice while they support Civil Defence. They have sustained a small amount of damage to the collection. 10-15 works are affected & they are assessing condition & repair options.
Updated: 25/2: Experiences of CAG Senior Curator Justin Paton reported in the guardian here.

Lyttelton Museum
Has been closed since the September earthquake, and apparently suffered additional damage on Boxing Day. We have no information as yet, but fear it is now even worse.

Okains Bay Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Our City O-Tautahi
Updated 31/3:
This was in the Municipal Chambers building which suffered damage last September and was still closed to the public. It is within the restricted ‘red zone’ and the current situation is not yet known.

Sound Archives
We’ve had unconfirmed reports that the archive has flooded. Will update when we learn more.

The Physics Room
All staff are safe, don’t expect to get back to their building to assess it for some while.

Timeball Station (NZHPT)
Is severely damaged, but thankfully both staff members there at the time of the quake got out safely. No news yet about the collection items which have been stored offsite since the September earthquake.

We have also heard that Lincoln Entomology Museum, Landcare Herbarium, Ashburton area museums, as well as South Canterbury Museum are ok.

We know that this information is only about the public face of these museums, and many staff will have huge challenges ahead with their own homes and families. Our thoughts and best wishes go to all our colleagues.

Kia kaha,

Phillipa and Sophie


Museums Aotearoa Tweets

Join Museums Aotearoa

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: