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Public and Private: Photographs of People

13 June - 30 August 2020

Public and Private depicts people through historical images. The private photographs are those we commission or take ourselves – the studio portraits or snapshots that we share only with our family and friends. They speak of our identity within this limited circle.

The public ones are those that are taken on our behalf or for other people. They show who we are in a social sense, as part of a broader group. They include team photographs, workplace gatherings, and people at public events. Such photographs are circulated to people we don’t know – often as published images – exposing us to public view.

The selection comprises 30 photographs shown in Te Papa’s large-scale exhibition New Zealand Photography Collected that was a popular hit from November 2015 to August 2016. They cover 100 years, from the 1870s to the 1990s.

Image: Brian Brake, Oriental Bay, Wellington, 1960, Te Papa.

Developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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