Posts Tagged 'Auckland Museum'

Medals and museums

Recent media attention has highlighted the proposed sale of medals and log books belonging to aviation war veteran Les Munro.

MOTAT, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Air Force Museum in Christchurch and the Otago Museum are working together to support Mr Munro to determine if there is a way that his personal wishes can be fulfilled while retaining his precious World War Two medals and memorabilia in their public collections within New Zealand.
The museums respect the decision Mr Munro has made to raise funds for the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial in London and are currently discussing a number of options to achieve the best outcome for all.

Leading these discussions is Mr Michael Frawley, CEO of MOTAT who says “we have a deep admiration for Mr Munro’s altruistic aims and we hope to work with him to realise these. Our primary goal is that Mr Munro is fully supported throughout this process whatever the outcome may be. The huge contribution Mr Munro, his colleagues and the entire Bomber Command made to World War Two cannot be emphasised enough and our museums will continue to highlight their valour, commitment and sacrifice.”

The museums, supported by organisations such as the RSA and NZ Bomber Command Association, are also collaborating with a number of their corporate sponsors to determine the level of financial support available for this project.

Phillipa Tocker
Executive Director
Museums Aotearoa

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News Update 12 June, 2014

Having just come back from Australia, I have been thinking about New Zealand museums and galleries in relation to international issues. It seems that there are some common threads, especially the focus on ethics and standards, and communicating the various forms of ‘value’ that museums and galleries contribute – cultural, creative, economic, amenity, social, educational etc.

At MA14, Auckland Museum presented research they have undertaken with Auckland Council to measure the Social Return On Investment (SROI) for the Moana – My Ocean exhibition. This paper has now been peer reviewed and published, showing a dollar value for SROI.  We expect to have videos of the MA14 keynote speakers, including Ganesh Nana’s exploration of economic and other ‘value’ on our website next week.

In Australia there has recently been publicity about dubious provenance of items acquired by museums. The National Gallery of Australia is embroiled in an international legal battle after it was found that an item it had bought from a New York based dealer Art of the Past was in fact stolen. It has subsequently come out that the NGA bought several million dollars worth of items from this dealer, as did other major museums internationally. A meeting of the four peak museum sector organisations in Australia has issued a joint statement on ethics in collecting to highlight the importance of due diligence and maintaining the highest possible ethical standards.

In China, the museum-building spree is running into problems with fakes. According to state media, 299 new establishments registered last year, but fakes are said to be rife in its antiques market. Police shut down the Lucheng museum, in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, after finding almost a third of the 8,000 items on display were not genuine. Counterfeits on show included a sword touted as dating from the Qing Dynasty and worth 120 million yuan (£11m), the report said.

The local news has been mixed, with the struggling Katikati Museum closing, and minimal damage from a potentially disastrous fire at Waikato Museum. Coincidentally, we had a fire evacuation drill at the MA office this week.  When did you last have a fire drill? Do you hold them regularly?

Kiwi North has secured $370k from Lotteries towards its $700k stage 2 development, Lopdell House is on track to open later this year as Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, and in Ashburton locals have flocked to an open day to in the new museum and art gallery building ahead of fitout for opening later this year.

Curator Tryphena Cracknell at a floor talk for Momo Kauae: Moko Kauae in Contemporary Art

More good news stories include kuia featuring in exhibitions at Aratoi (Kuia: Kiri Riwai-Couch) and HCAG (Momo Kauae: Moko Kauae in Contemporary Art), the Sarjeant Gallery reopening in its temporary premises on Sarjeant on the Quay, and the new extension at Tairawhiti Museum has opened.

Creative New Zealand is consulting on a review of its support for visual and craft/object art, with responses due on Wednesday 25 June.  This is an important opportunity to have a say on the structure which affects how funding is distributed, and how.  A number of museum and gallery professionals took part int he focus groups whcih preceded the darfts reports which are now out for response. MA will be making a response, and we encourgae all who have an interest in Creative NZ’s craft/objecta dn visual art forms to read them and respond.  If you want to feed into MA’s response, please let us know by Friday 20 June.

And a reminder that ICOM New Zealand is calling for abstracts for the Pacific Connections conference in Auckland, 22-23 September 2014, which will focus on Pacific museum collections and research. Abstracts are due on 16 June 2014. Proposals for the 2014 National Digital Forum are also due on 16 June.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 12 November 2013

Kia ora,

When the MA Board met in October, we again discussed the need for a museums publication. We have not published Te Ara: journal of Museums Aotearoa since 2010. There have been a number of suggestions and discussions about ways in which this gap could be filled, and the Board is keen to see how these could be developed. We would like interested members to take part in this discussion, and have set up an online forum topic so we can canvass your ideas. Please join the discussion here.

Auckland Museum has published its 2012/2013 Annual Report as an e-book. AWMM reports, among other successes, that it is continuing its commitment to environmental responsibility: “energy costs were cut a further 19% and we remain on track in the coming months to slash carbon emissions over the past three years by 40%”. This is a great achievement and we congratulate AWMM on leading by example. Maybe we’ll find out how they do it in their  Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, due for publication in the coming weeks. We are also planning more discussion of energy saving at the MA14 conference, The Business of Culture with a session on how to reduce costs and be environmentally responsible.

Lottery WW1, Environment & Heritage last week announced the latest round of grants for WW100 projects.  The media release from Ministers Finlayson and Tremain outlines 30 projects receiving at total of $2.7million, including a good number of museums and galleries. Community Matters The grants range from $2,000 upwards to $506,233 and $630,633 for Waikato Museum and the Navy Museum respectively.  In addition, Te Papa scored $3.6 million from the ‘National Significant Pool’ for its multi-media WW1 exhibition. Congratulations to all the successful museums and galleries – we look forward to seeing some really exciting and innovative WW1 projects.

Museum of Wellington's  1913 waterfront strike parade.

Museum of Wellington’s 1913 waterfront strike parade.

Other media coverage has been positive and varied, including Museum of Wellington’s re-enactment of the 1913 waterfront strike. With protesters and some suitably dressed ‘Massey’s Cossacks’ on horseback, they attracted TV One and 3News, as well as print articles.

This week we have the last of our regional forums – Wednesday at Puke Ariki and Thursday at Te Awamutu Museum.  We are really enjoying meeting up with folk around the country, and appreciate the feedback and ideas you are sharing with us and with each other.  There are some regions that have missed out because of time – and weather – and we’ll be scheduling those and more in 2014.

Back in the office we’ve just received the latest MAQ from the printer.  It will be going out in the post to you in the next few days. And we’re working hard on updating our Directory information.  If you haven’t yet done so, please check your details in the online Museums Directory and let Jeremiah know of any changes.

Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

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.

News Update 21 May 2013

Kia Ora,

Phillipa has spent the last few days in Canberra at the Museums Australia conference. She and a small contingent of kiwis presented papers – Jenny Harper from Christchurch Art Gallery, and Nicola Railton, Bernard Makoare and Megan McSweeney from Auckland Museum. The conference was three full days in Canberra’s bright cold early winter. Coinciding not only with International Museum Day, but also Canberra’s centennial and the final days of the Australian National Museum’s Andrew Sayers’ term as President of the Museums Australia National Council, it brought together a showcase of Australia’s national institutions with around 500 delegates from across the country.

Delegates enjoy the lunchtime sun – up to 13C after frosts for the last 3 nights

Delegates enjoy the lunchtime sun – up to 13C after frosts for the last 3 nights

The Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) 2013 included several successful New Zealand entries. Congratulations to Dunedin Public Art Gallery, winner of their website category, Te Papa joint winner for Buller’s Birds, and Christchurch Art Gallery, highly commended for their Bulletin. Overall, the conference was a great experience, and Phillipa is coming home with new ideas and opportunities for more trans-Tasman collaborations.

The Museum of Wellington City & Sea made international news in last week’s list of the World’s 50 Best Museums nominated by a ‘panel of experts’ for The Times (UK). Ranking number 41 in such illustrious company is pretty good going – congratulations to all who sail in her. It’s also good to see that the Dominion Post picked up the story here. No NZ art museums made the previous week’s list of the World’s 50 greatest galleries (article put online by the Yale Centre for British art, no.15). The closest is the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (no.46) and the list is topped by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Museum sector research
Our research programme continues, which we see as a vital contribution to advocacy and resources for our members and for the sector. There is currently a range of data collection by MA and other organisations:

The 2013 Museum Sector Remuneration Survey is being prepared by Strategic Pay. Museums with paid staff will be receiving an invitation to participate soon – it costs nothing to enter your data and the more museums included the more complete and robust the information. There is a charge for the full report, which ranges from $195 to $700 for participating museums, depending on size.

A new association membership survey is being administered by Survey Matters. All paid individual members should have received an invitation to participate in this Australasia-wide survey – thank you to those who have already completed it.
The annual Visitor Survey is complete and participating museums have been sent their clean data. We will be publishing a summary of this year’s survey very soon.

The 2012 Sector Survey report and executive summary are available for download here. In the coming months we plan to prepare a ‘prettier’ publication summarising the key findings for more general use, and will be looking at the best way to continue this vital research on a regular basis.
International research can also help us to advocate here. The Arts Council England has just released a comprehensive independent research report on The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy, which quantifies the actual economic and value-added contribution, as well as the ‘spillover’ effects of a vibrant cultural community.

And lastly a reminder that MA members are invited to comment on the revised Code of Ethics 2013 by 14 June 2013.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

Remembering Rodney Wilson

It is with sadness and respect that we acknowledge the passing of Dr T L Rodney Wilson on 27 April 2013. Rodney was a leader in the museum profession in this country and well known and respected internationally.  He lead many of our museums and galleries, was founding director of Auckland’s National Maritime Museum, retired after 14 years as Director of Auckland War Memorial Museum in 2007, and was made a Fellow of Museums Aotearoa.

 

Rodney Wilson, 2008

Rodney Wilson accepting Fellowship of Museums Aotearoa, April 2008

Rodney’s contribution went far beyond the institutions he worked in.  He was a consultant and advisor to other museums and organisations, including Dunedin City museums review, The Shore exhibition centre in Takapuna, the Army Museum Trust Board, Director of ATTTO, Governor of the Arts Foundation, served on the Museums Aotearoa Board from 2005-2007, as well as holding office with Museums Aotearoa predecessors AGMANZ and AGDC. His services to museum and art gallery administration earned him appointment as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007.

As well as his professional achievements, Rodney will be remembered for his sparkling wit, strength of character, determination and passion – for boats, motorbikes, art, architecture, museums, people and living life to the full.

Rodney had been living with cancer for some time, and died peacefully at home. He will be farewelled in Auckland on Sunday 5 May. On behalf of Museums Aotearoa, I have sent aroha and sympathy to his wife Maureen and to his family.

Phillipa Tocker
Executive Director

Links to other articles:
Auckland Museum’s tribute (includes photos)
Cultural Icons (The Depot)
NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year 2006
Auckland Art Gallery blog (Ron Brownson)
Christchurch Art Gallery blog (Jenny Harper)

News Update 17 April 2013

Kia ora,

Whew!  We’re back in the office in damp Wellington after a wonderful time in Hamilton.  The sun shone, our Waikato hosts were generous and welcoming, and it seems a good time was had by all.  We thank all the conference presenters and participants, and particularly the 200+ delegates – without your attendance and enthusiasm, there would be no conference.

2013-04 MA13 banner pic SM

We congratulate all the 2013 NZ Museum Awards entrants, finalists and of course the winners: Auckland Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery, the Fashion Museum, The Kauri Museum and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. These are great examples of excellence and innovation.

At the awards celebration dinner we were delighted to announce a new professional development grant in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation – see our website. We also acknowledged Finn McCahon-Jones, winner of The Clark Collection Scholarship for 2013.  Finn is Associate Curator, Applied Arts & Design at Auckland Museum.  The scholarship is supported by National Services Te Paerangi, and Finn will travel to the UK to attend the Attingham Summer School and visit other organisations in England.

We have conference and awards photos up on Facebook, where you’re welcome to tag and comment. An email link to the post-conference survey will be sent out later this week.  We are very keen to hear your feedback and ideas for MA14 in Hawke’s Bay!

Last week we also held the 2012 Museums Aotearoa AGM in Hamilton. Here is a brief summary:
– the 2012 Annual Report was presented orally – it will be printed and mailed out with the next MAQ in May
– the 2102 Financial Accounts can be downloaded from our website here
– the 2012 museum sector survey results can be downloaded as Executive Summary or the full 2012 Sector Survey Report
– the revised Code of Ethics was endorsed, subject to consideration of any further comments from members by the Board at its next meeting (date mid-May tbc)

The result of the MA Board election is:
– Therese Angelo (Museum) – re-elected, Chair
– Tryphena Cracknell (Kaitiaki) – elected
– Eric Dorfman (Museum) – re-elected
– Jenny Harper (Individual) – second term continues
– Brett Mason (Individual) – elected (first term)
– Rhonda Paku (Museum) – elected (first term)

We haven’t had time to keep up with the museum and gallery news around the country over the past week, so we’ll be back with that and other events next week. In the mean time we’ve updated the opportunities, links and notices below.

Nga mihi, Phillipa, Talei and the MA13 team


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