Te Papa lines up more art exhibitions

SOPHIE SPEER
CULTURE AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
Last updated 06:35 08/08/2012

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More art will be displayed at Te Papa from next year as the national museum revises its exhibition rotation.

From March, a revolving series of module exhibitions will be introduced on level five, allowing more of the museum's extensive historical and contemporary art collection to be displayed.

Chief executive Michael Houlihan said that the move was in response to public criticism of the lack of art on display.

The national museum holds 15,000 pieces in its collection, of which about 3 per cent is on display at any one time.

In the past five years, 200 artworks have been on display, but with these changes it was hoped about 600 would be showcased within 18 months.

Instead of only displaying the collection chronologically, a series of themes, such as landscapes, portraits, specific genres or artists, would be used to create smaller module exhibitions.

These would be replaced about every six months, Mr Houlihan said.

The approach would allow more of the collection to be seen and would show the collection's strength and depth.

Te Papa's storage facilities are full and it would cost about $30 million to create extra space, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson was told in a briefing in February.

A separate national art gallery would be ideal, but money was a barrier, Mr Houlihan said.

Contact Sophie Speer
Culture and Capital Day reporter
Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @sophie_speer

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