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March marked the opening of our new suite of galleries dedicated to the living history of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Endeavouring to represent a city of the scale and richness of Auckland was a monumental task, and this suite of permanent galleries chronicles Auckland's past, captures its present, and looks to the future of this city.
Auckland Museum’s collection of tens of thousands of photographs by Kiwi photographer and photojournalist, Olaf Petersen, is one of five new additions to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. This year the Museum's Pictorial Curator, Shaun Higgins, will publish a book with Auckland University Press that profiles Olaf’s career as Aotearoa New Zealand's pre-eminent 20th-century nature photographer. This will accompany the first major exhibition of this significant body of work, from the Documentary Heritage collection, in our Sainsbury Horrocks gallery in late 2021.
In February we launched a digital version of Director's Choice, which explores Auckland Museum's extraordinary collection, each item with its own compelling backstory. The original 2019 publication formed part of Scala's international Director's Choice series, and the new photography produced for that volume has now been joined by interactive elements to allow viewers to dive even deeper into the exquisite detail of some of my favourite collection objects.
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December was a momentous month, marking the opening of our new South Atrium precinct. What you will experience in this space is the result of our deliberate intention to connect the past, present and future of this much-loved cultural destination.