Today is 'Ask A Curator Day'. Send us your questions about Auckland Museum, our collection, the history of our building, or anything else museum-related you'd like answered.
Highlights from our collection
Our curators have put together a selection of highlights to help get you thinking about some questions.
If you'd like to know more about these, or other objects and specimens in the Auckland Museum collection post your question to @aucklandmuseum on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #AskACurator.
This trapdoor spider has a 30 cm long roundworm coiled inside its abdomen. The worm changed the spider’s behaviour: The spider normally stays put in its burrow on the forest floor for its entire life but the worm made it go out wandering in search of water. That’s when it fell into an insect trap and drowned. The worm is fully grown and no longer needs the spider to feed on but it does need water for the next stage of its life – to mate and lay eggs.
The first New Zealand flag to fly on captured German territory
This is purportedly the first New Zealand flag to fly on captured German territory in August 1914—it was hoisted from the wireless tower near Apia in Sāmoa by Trooper John Reginald Graham, a member of the Expeditionary Force Advance Party, and flew until he returned to New Zealand. — Check out our 'Entangled Islands: Sāmoa, New Zealand and the First World War' exhibition to learn more.
1915 tintype taken for two soldiers in Cairo
A rare example of a circa 1915 tintype taken for two soldiers in Cairo. Tintypes (or Ferrotypes) are a 19th century technology that uses the wet collodion process on a lacquered piece of iron of a desired size. The dark lacquer acts to invert the image from negative to positive (albeit mirrored). These images were able to be produced cheaply and quickly making them ideal for street sale. "Had these taken on the street. They cost 1 Paistre (2 1/2') each. We only had to wait 2 minutes for them." G. W. Thomson. NZMC.
Tangonge (Kaitaia lintel)
Tangonge or the Kaitaia lintel is a unique piece of Māori wood carving. This is because it shows stylistic association to early Pacific and Polynesian patterning and design. This connection makes it an important link in understanding the change, over time, to what we appreciate today as Māori whakairo rākau or Māori wood carving. This use of chevron and notch patterning (that runs along the edges of the carving) supports a wider carving vocabulary found in carving practice throughout the wider Pacific.
What is #AskACurator Day?
It’s a way to talk to curators and people who work in cultural venues you normally don’t have access to. #AskACurator is open to everyone: Museums, galleries, National Trust, Theatres, and more.
You can ask anything that you’re curious about or want more information on:
What’s it’ like to be a curator?
How do you decide what to display?
What is the most unique object in your collection?
We''' try to answer your questions as quickly as we can, but some answers might require a little research. If that's the case we'll let you know and get abck to you as soon as we can.
Find out more about #AskACurator Day
You can learn more about the #AskACurator event at mardixon.com, or check out the questions and answers on Twitter and Facebook.
Post by: Auckland Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its people, and their place in the Pacific.