2009 past exhibitions
Ngā whakaaturanga 2009

Past exhibitions that opened in 2009 – from Monet and the Impressionists to Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand.

On this page:
Monet and the Impressionists
Impressions of France: French prints 1850–1900
Treaty 2U
Formula One™: The great design race
Dynamism and Colour: British linocuts of the 1930s
Reactive Architecture: Smart buildings respond to the environment
Tapa: Pacific style
Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand
A Garden
A Day in Pompeii

Monet and the Impressionists

Dates: 14 Feb – 17 May 2009
Cost: Admission charges

This exhibition offered a rare chance for New Zealand audiences to see over 50 paintings from one of the world’s finest collections of 19th century French painting, held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

It included 27 paintings by Claude Monet, as well as Impressionist pieces by masters Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, and Pissarro. This was the richest collection of Impressionist paintings to ever come to New Zealand

More about Monet, Impressionism, and the exhibition

Impressions of France: French prints 1850–1900

Dates: 19 Feb – 17 May 2009
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition presented etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts from Te Papa's collection. The prints showcased a diverse range of styles and techniques, and included works by members of the Barbizon School as well as the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements.

The display offered an opportunity to see work in another medium by artists who are better known as painters, such as Corot, Manet, and Renoir, as well as works by master printmakers such as Legros and Bracquemond. Japanese woodcuts were included to represent the significant influence of these prints on French artists of the time.

Treaty 2U

Dates: 27 Jun 2009 – 14 Apr 2013
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition told the story of New Zealand’s founding document: the Treaty of Waitangi. It covered the events that led up to the Treaty in the 70 years between the first landing of Captain James Cook in 1769 and the signing of the document. The exhibition explored what is written in the documents and the crucial differences between the Māori and English versions.

Treaty 2U was also a touring exhibition.

Learn more about the Treaty of Waitangi and its conception

Treaty 2U. Te Papa

Caption

Treaty 2U. Te Papa

Formula One™: The great design race

Dates: 15 Jul – 1 Nov 2009
Cost: Admission charges

This exhibition provided an exciting glimpse into the world of Formula One™. It included nine cars that raced between 1958 and 2006 and told the stories of the eight New Zealanders who have raced in Formula One™ since its inception in 1950.

Providing technical specifications and rich information about each of the cars on display, the exhibition was an exciting spectacle celebrating the constant pushing of design and technological innovation that F1 represents.

Formula One™ – The Great Design Race Tour is organised by the Design Museum, London, and curated by Alicia Pivaro. Formula One, Formula 1 and F1 are trademarks belonging to Formula One Licensing B.V. Used by kind permission of Formula One Administration Limited.

Dynamism and Colour: British linocuts of the 1930s

Dates: 20 Aug 2009 – 15 Feb 2010
Cost: Free entry

A small selection of the 95 linocuts by artists of the Grosvenor School held by Te Papa. They were donated to the Museum in the early 1950s by expatriate New Zealander Rex Nan Kivell, a director of the Redfern Gallery in London.

The dynamics of modern life, and its effect on cities and people, was a particular interest for Claude Flight and other artists from the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London. Influenced by the Italian Futurists, these prints convey the optimism of the Roaring 1920s–30s, with images of cars, machinery, sports, and daily life all captured in vivid colour.

The colour linocut was a 20th century invention. It was also these artists’ medium of choice, as they believed it captured the spirit of the modern age: industrialism and utilitarianism.

The giant stride, 1933, by Ethel Spowers. Gift of Rex Nan Kivell, 1953. Te Papa (1953-0003-325)

Caption

The giant stride, 1933, by Ethel Spowers. Gift of Rex Nan Kivell, 1953. Te Papa (1953-0003-325)

Reactive Architecture: Smart buildings respond to the environment

Dates: 19 Sep 2009 – 11 Apr 2010
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition took visitors into a possible future. Architects, engineers, and designers are all looking for ways to save energy and make buildings more sustainable. The six installations in Reactive Architecture looked at some new and exciting ideas.

Some of the installations looked to nature – who would think that a dragonfly’s wing held some possible answers? One explored ‘people power’ and several showed how buildings can be built to respond to changing weather or even just the comings and goings of people going about their business.

Tapa: Pacific style

Dates: 25 Sep 2009 – 5 Sep 2010
Cost: Free entry

Located in the fashion and textiles exhibition space, Tapa: Pacific style displayed a selection of Tapa (bark cloth) objects from Hawai'i, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Niue, Samoa, Cook Islands, Uvea (Wallis) & Futuna, and Tonga.

Tapa is cloth material made from the pounded inner bark of various trees, such as paper mulberry or breadfruit trees. Each island group has its own distinctive and unique patterns, concepts and uses, but the process for making tapa is a common link.

Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand

Dates: 17 Oct 2009 – Feb 2011
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition showcased a variety of beautiful examples of pounamupounamu greenstone from throughout New Zealand, exploring the nature of the stone, its origins, and stories of the special relationship people have with it. Pounamu is a treasured stone for Māori and all New Zealanders, valued for its beauty, strength, and durability, and there are many stories of its origins.

There are two systems for classifying pounamu. Geologically, the name pounamu refers to three different types of stone: nephrite, bowenite, and serpentinite. Māori classify pounamu by appearance.

Find out more about varieties of pounamu, its geological origins, and its cultural or mythical origins:
Kura pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa.

A Garden

Dates: 28 Nov 2009 – 7 Nov 2010
Cost: Free entry

This Sculpture Terrace commission by Auckland-based artist Paul Cullen utilised the concept of the ‘borrowed view’ – a key idea in garden history. The borrowed view concept involves the surrounding landscape being incorporated into a garden design, enhancing the vista and giving a sense that the garden is larger than it is.

As an inner-city space that operated as a viewing deck over the harbour, Te Papa’s Outer Terrace was very much a part of this tradition. Spaces such as this are often developed as outdoor areas for recreation and pleasure, and this site is no exception. Cullen’s project responded to the possibilities and meanings of the site within the architecture and ideology of Te Papa and its location overlooking the busy harbour.

A Garden featured a series of familiar materials and objects – concrete blocks, a street light, rocks, steel trestle, hoses, and tables – that are at odds with the usual garden material and design. Spread across the terrace, the objects formed a field, their configuration determining the viewers’ passage through the space and guiding movement and experience. Cullen deliberately suggested a rational purpose for the objects.

A Day in Pompeii

Dates: 19 Dec 2009 – 25 Apr 2010
Cost: Admission charges

This exhibition gave visitors an extraordinary insight into the daily life of this ancient city, preserved by the ash that devastated it. There were more than 250 objects in the show, ranging from delicate garden frescoes and fine mosaics to everyday items like cooking pots and wine jars. Examples of the equipment of a sophisticated city included medical instruments, a water pipe with spout and tape, and gold jewellery.

Poignant objects revealed the human tragedy of Pompeii – body casts of people and animals trapped by ash on that last fateful day. Visitors could travel through a virtual house that illustrated the beauty and elegance of the original building and experience the drama and fear of the massive eruption of Mt Vesuvius in an immersive 3D theatre.