Te Papa unveil rare Ngāti Toa Rangatira portraits in exhibition

This Easter, Te Papa is unveiling eight new shows exhibiting national art collections. 

The Ngā Toi/ Arts Te Papa galleries will house a series of mini shows including a display of rare historical portraits of Ngāti Toa tūpuna.  This particular exhibition has been given the name Ngāti Toa Rangatira: He Iti Whetū. 

This is the first time Te Papa has worked collaboratively with Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

The works of this particular show have been sourced from various collections including other galleries and museums as well as individual families, and some of the pieces have never been seen outside of those families.

 Te Papa
Unknown photographer, Nopera te Ngiha, 1860-1880.  Photo / Te Papa Museum

Te Papa curator Rebecca Rice said the portraits reflected an era of great change and conflict in Aotearoa.

Taku Parai, Chair of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira said these artworks were an extension of the Whiti Te Rā! exhibition on Ngāti Toa already showing at Te Papa.

This season's exhibition also contains a rich collection of Cook Island tivaevae (quilts).  This will also be theirs largest tivaevae exhibition showcasing the talent of Cook Island women. 

Other contemporary art work by one of New Zealand's most iconic artists, Gretchen Albrecht will also be displayed. 

An official opening blessing for the new season of art was held this morning. 

If you would like to get more information on this, you can visit the Te Papa website here.