Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa

Discover the national art collection.

  • When Long-term exhibition
  • Where Levels 5 & 6
  • Cost Free entry
  • Type Art
Photo - Herman Schmidt, The naked sword, about 1925


Herman Schmidt, The naked sword, about 1925, gelatin silver print. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (O.020785)
Photo - Eric Lee-Johnson, Untitled, 1956


Eric Lee-Johnson, Untitled,1956, gelatin silver print. Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (O.006107/02)
Ceramic - The Clown from Fulham Road 2014


The Clown from Fulham Road 2014, Stratton, Richard (1970– ), New Zealand. Purchased 2014. Te Papa
The shark museum


Marie Shannon, The shark museum, 1992, gelatin silver print. Purchased 2004. Te Papa (O.027310)
Photo - Fiona Clark, Ian/Geraldine at home, 1975


Fiona Clark, Ian/Geraldine at home, 1975, inkjet print. Purchased 2015. Te Papa (O.043430) – the online home of arts at Te Papa

Current exhibitions

New Zealand Photography Collected

Brings hundreds of rare and fascinating photographs out of Te Papa’s storerooms and onto the gallery walls. From 19th-century portraits to family snapshots, and dramatic landscapes to modern art photography, this inspiring exhibition includes works by luminaries such as Alfred Burton, Brian Brake, Marti Friedlander, Laurence Aberhart, Anne Noble, and Gavin Hipkins.

The exhibition coincides with a major new book from Te Papa Press, New Zealand Photography Collected, written by Te Papa curator Athol McCredie.

New Zealand Photography Collected – find out more

Carleton Watkins

Celebrates the 150-year anniversary of the museum with a selection of large-scale prints by one of the foremost American photographers of the 1800s, Carleton Watkins. The director of the Colonial Museum, James Hector, acquired the prints in 1888.

Open Home

Showcases works by Derrick Cherrie, L. Budd, Julian Dashper, and others, that deal with what happens when homes go ‘on display’.

The Art of Remembrance

16 March to 22 July 2016

In 2015 contemporary New Zealand artist Max Gimblett made seven thousand brass quatrefoils to hang on the exterior of St David’s soldiers’ Memorial Church in Auckland. Each quatrefoil represents a New Zealander who served in World War 1, and is intended as a public message of peace and hope. Several hundred of these quatrefoils will be on display in the entrance of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa to coincide with Anzac Day, 2016.

Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past

18 March 2016 to 2018

Discover the links between contemporary decorative arts and ancient objects. See how a Picasso jug reflects the drama and techniques of Greek red-figure pottery, and how the quirky ceramic work of New Zealander Richard Stratton echoes the patterns in Chinese cobalt-blue porcelain.

This exhibition brings together some of the newest and oldest items in Te Papa’s collection, including work by many of this country’s most acclaimed ceramic artists and jewellers.

Join in


Running alongside New Zealand Photography Collected is a participatory photo-sharing project, #tepapaphoto.

Do you have a photo that people will want to see in 100 years? Share it on Instagram with #tepapaphoto. In your caption, tell us why you think it will last the distance.

What makes a photo worth keeping for ever, for everyone? It might show something rare or unrepeatable. Maybe it captures a historic moment. Or expresses something about ourselves.


Visit Arts Te Papa to find out more about everything on offer in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa.

Follow @te_papa on Instagram to keep up to date with what’s going on behind the scenes.