Author(s): Conal McCarthy
Published to mark 20 years since the landmark opening of Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand in 1998, this illustrated book by well-known museum studies academic Conal McCarthy examines the vision behind the museum, how it has evolved in the last two decades, and the particular way Te Papa goes about the business of being a national museum in a nation with two Treaty partners. McCarthy provides a warm and at times critical appraisal of its origins, development, innovations and reception, including some of its key museological features which have drawn international attention, highlights of exhibitions, collections and programmes over its first twenty years, and the issues that have sparked national and local debate.
Conal McCarthy is the programme director in the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He has degrees in English, Art History, Museum Studies and te reo Maori. He has strong links with museums, art galleries and heritage organisations around New Zealand, and has worked in a variety of professional roles including education and public programmes, interpretation, governance, collections and curatorial work. His academic research interests include museum history, theory and practice, exhibition history, Maori visual culture and contemporary heritage issues. Conal has published widely on the historical and contemporary Maori engagement with museums, including Exhibiting Maori: A history of colonial cultures of display (2007), Museums and Maori: Heritage professionals, indigenous collections, current practice (2011) and Museum practice: The contemporary museum at work (2015) in the series International Handbooks of Museum Studies.
Foreword 8 Introduction: Day one 14 01. Getting to day one 26 02. A guided tour of the museum 52 03. What the staff intended . . . and what the critics thought 80 04. Biculturalism and beyond 112 05. The museum at work in 2017 142 06. Learning from the first 20 years 174 Appendices: selected highlights 1998-2017 188 Current strategies and values 206 Interviewees 210 Glossary 212 Notes 219 Image credits 247 Acknowledgements 247 Index 248