Te Papa Treasures Unpacked at Waikato Museum
2 July 2014
Waikato Museum has partnered with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in a recent initiative; Unpacked: Treasures from Te Papa, where selected masterpieces are loaned to display for three months.
The first work to go on display is Louis John Steele and Kennett Watkins' impressive painting, The Blowing up of the Boyd (1889). The painting is now on show at Waikato Museum until 21 September 2014.
Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says a series of key pieces from the national collection will feature in the museum’s foyer.
“This is an opportunity for the public to see some of New Zealand’s most striking, historical and contemporary artworks from the national collection here in Hamilton.
“Te Papa’s aim is to create opportunity for its treasures to be seen by more people in more places.”
Waikato Museum and Whangarei Art Museum are participating in this project which launched at the Whangarei Art Museum in December 2013.
The Blowing up of the Boyd depicts one of the most notorious incidents in New Zealand’s colonial history. In 1809, a Ngāti Pou chief returning from Sydney on board the British ship Boyd was wrongly accused of theft and flogged. His tribe took revenge, attacked the Boyd in the Whangaroa harbour and killed around 70 people before accidentally destroying the ship by igniting its cargo of gunpowder.
Other paintings that will feature in the space over the next 12 months from Te Papa’s collection are Edward Poynter’s Asterié (1904), an enigmatic portrait made by one of the most successful Victorian artists of his day, Rita Angus’s Fay and Jane Birkinshaw (1938), a striking work of international significance, and Rozzie at Pisa (1978) by Grahame Sydney, a contemporary New Zealand artist whose work spans more than four decades.