Last days for six-year-old exhibition at Te Papa, as new art space planned

The Slice of Heaven exhibition was opened in 2010 and features more than 100 items from the 20th century,  including an ...
MICHAEL HALL/TE PAPA

The Slice of Heaven exhibition was opened in 2010 and features more than 100 items from the 20th century, including an array of toys.

 A longstanding exhibition at Te Papa is on its way out, to make room for expanded art gallery space.

Slice of Heaven: 20th-Century Aotearoa has been on display for more than six years at the national museum in Wellington, exploring the ways New Zealand changed.

From January 24, two areas on level four will be closed to allow for construction work to begin on what exhibition renewal outreach manager Steph McDonald said would be a significant change.

Te Papa curator Kirstie Ross is sad to see the Slice of Heaven exhibition close, but is excited for what's next.
RUBY MACANDREW/FAIRFAX NZ

Te Papa curator Kirstie Ross is sad to see the Slice of Heaven exhibition close, but is excited for what's next.

"The art space is expanding by 35 per cent, so it's a lot bigger and it just allows much more room to show art at Te Papa."

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Slice of Heaven curator Kirstie Ross said it would be "strange to see it go" on January 23, but she and other staff were excited for the change.

A Plunket pram from the late 1940s is one of curator Kirstie Ross' favourite items in the exhibition.
TE PAPA

A Plunket pram from the late 1940s is one of curator Kirstie Ross' favourite items in the exhibition.

She hoped anyone who had not yet seen the exhibition, or wanted to see it one last time, would come along before it closed on Wellington Anniversary Day.

In honour of the conclusion, she had started naming her top 20 items from the exhibition on the Te Papa blog, as a way to share her in-depth knowledge of the detailed showcase.

Included in her list so far has been a depression-era money-box, a World War II recruitment poster, and a Plunket pram from the 1940s. "These are, I hope, potent or beguiling reminders of some of the century's defining moments," she said.

From January 24, two areas on level four of Te Papa will be closed to allow for construction work to begin on a new art ...
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

From January 24, two areas on level four of Te Papa will be closed to allow for construction work to begin on a new art gallery space.

Te Papa is hosting two final events in conjunction with the exhibition's closure, including a 20th-century history-themed pub quiz on January 18, and a talk with Ross the following day.

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While the exhibition had been up for more than six years, it was two years in the planning before its installation in October 2010, giving Ross and her team plenty of time to plan it out.

"One hundred years in New Zealand's history is quite a big chunk, especially in terms of post-Treaty history.

"You really can't contain history in a century, so that was the real challenge for us."

 - Stuff

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