Scoop Review of Books

New Te Papa Art Book


Te Papa Press Releases Major New Publication On The National Art Collection

The latest publication from Te Papa Press – Art at Te Papa – will be formally launched by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Chris Finlayson, at a private function at Te Papa on Wednesday 1 April.

Art at Te Papa tells the story of the evolution of the national art collection – from superb early European prints to exciting contemporary acquisitions – and in doing so, closely reflects the history of Aotearoa New Zealand itself. The book features over 400 beautifully reproduced artworks, accompanied by engaging essays by 38 of New Zealand’s top art curators and scholars. Art at Te Papa spans the Museum’s collection, and provides a fascinating insight into the personalities responsible for developing the collection over more than a century, as well as giving information about the featured artists, their works, and their practice.

Art at Te Papa is a landmark achievement for Te Papa Press,’ said Dr Seddon Bennington, Te Papa’s Chief Executive. ‘The book, combined with the exhibition Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation and the digital database Collections Online, provides a comprehensive view of the national collection for all New Zealanders to enjoy and learn from.’

The public launch of Art at Te Papa will be held on Thursday 2 April from 6.00pm with a unique opportunity to tour Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation and hear talks on key works in the gallery by Te Papa curators and the book’s contributing essayists. The tour is free of charge, and those attending the evening’s events will be able to purchase Art at Te Papa at a 15% discount from Te Papa Store.

The book’s editor, Te Papa’s curator of New Zealand Historical Art, William McAloon, said that making a selection of just 400 from a collection of more than 15,000 works was not an easy task.

‘The national collection is incredibly rich, and I’m grateful to my colleagues at Te Papa who helped to make a selection that reveals its breadth and depth,’ said Mr McAloon. ‘Art at Te Papa features works from international artists ranging from Rembrandt and Stanley Spencer, to Natalia Goncharova and Barbara Kruger, as well as iconic New Zealand artists such as Charles F Goldie, Rita Angus, Colin McCahon, and Bill Hammond, plus some surprising lesser-known works.’

Art at Te Papa is available now through Te Papa Store, and from bookstores nationally from Thursday 1 April.

Following in a proud tradition of scholarly museum-based publishing by the previous incarnations of the national museum, award-winning Te Papa Press was founded in 1997 and is New Zealand’s only dedicated museum publishing house. The Press specialises in publishing books that reflect New Zealand’s art, culture and unique natural environment. Many, but not all, of the books they create draw on the collections housed at Te Papa.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: William McAloon has worked at Te Papa since 2005, where he is curator, Historical New Zealand Art. With Jill Trevelyan he was co-curator of the exhibition Rita Angus: Life and vision, and co-editor of the accompanying catalogue (Te Papa Press, 2008). His other books include Victoria’s art – A university collection (Adam Art Gallery Te Pataka Toi for Victoria University of Wellington, 2005), Gordon Walters: Prints and design (Adam Art Gallery Te Pataka Toi, 2004), and Home and away: Contemporary Australian and New Zealand art from the Chartwell Collection (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and David Bateman, 1999). He has written for numerous periodicals, including Art New Zealand, Art Asia Pacific, and Art and Australia, and from 2000 to 2004 was a regular art critic for the New Zealand Listener.

LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS: Christina Barton, Roger Blackley, Ron Brownson, Tyler Cann, Jillian Cassidey, Roger Collins, Brenda L. Croft, Joanne Drayton, Michael Dunn, Helen Ennis, Michael Fitzgerald, Pamela Gerrish Nunn, Deborah Hart, Charlotte Huddleston, Julie King, Mary Kisler, Aaron Kreisler, Bronwyn Lloyd, Ian Lochhead, William McAloon, Athol McCredie, Tony Mackle, Debbie Martin, David Maskill, Sean Mallon, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Marian Minson, Lissa Mitchell, Gregory O’Brien, Rebecca Rice, Victoria Robson, Damian Skinner, Mark Stocker, Lara Strongman, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Elena Taylor, Jill Trevelyan, and Jane Vial.