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.
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 (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti) is Curator Mātauranga Māori at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She has a broad interest in the intersections within te ao Māori and how this contributes to a diverse contemporary Māori society.