Ngā Tai Whakarongorua | Encounters

Accessible, informative guide to one of Te Papa's most popular permanent art exhibitions 

Encounters cover

By Rebecca Rice and Matariki Williams

Publication date: October 2021
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $22.00
Extent: 112 pages
Format: Limpbound
ISBN: 978-0-9951336-5-7

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The portrait wall in Toi Art, the art gallery within New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, is the most popular art exhibition for museum visitors. Hung salon-style on dark red walls, its 36 arresting portraits span historical portraiture to contemporary practice, and represent mana. Some trumpet the status of European royalty, Māori leaders, or prosperous colonial settlers in New Zealand. Others advertise the skills of the artist. All carry stories from the past into the present.

This handy book details each work in both English and te reo Māori and is the perfect souvenir of a visit to Te Papa and an ideal starting point for exploring questions of art, identity, and cross-cultural exchange.

Look inside the book

Review highlights

  • Kete books, reviewed by Peter Simpson. “Such reminders of the materiality and historicity of the paintings as objects adds another dimension to the psychological, aesthetic and historical connotations of the portraits themselves and the intriguing conversations between them created by their juxtaposition both in the museum itself and in this worthwhile publication.”
  • Reviewed in NZ Listener feature on the year’s ‘heavy hitters’. “This small book does precisely what it says on the tin: clearly and usefully explains the selection and arrangement of the portrait wall at Te Papa.”

Author interviews

About the authors

Rebecca Rice is the Curator of New Zealand Historical Art at Te Papa. Her research includes New Zealand’s representation at international exhibitions, particularly through the displays of fine art, photography and ethnographic artefacts, as well as how artists used these exhibitions to promote their own practice. 

Matariki Williams (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti, Taranaki), formerly Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa, is Pou Hītori Māori Matua | Senior Māori Historian at Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and History. Her research interests include contemporary social history, art, and digital expressions of self and culture. 

Publication date: October 2021
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $22.00
Extent: 112 pages
Format: Limpbound
ISBN: 978-0-9951336-5-7

Buy the book