The Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust continues to extend the collection, adding significant works every year. Explore the archive of our recent additions to the collection here.
In September 2013, MTG Hawke’s Bay opened after a period of extensive redevelopment. Among the collection items that were selected for display in the opening suite of exhibitions was the articulated skeleton of a North Island Giant Moa (Dinornis novaezealandiae), which had been put together in the 1930s using a collection of bones donated to the Hawke’s Bay Art Gallery and Museum by Mary Evelyn (Eva) Turnbull. As part of the process of preparing the moa for display, a new mount was designed to replace the thick metal rod that had previously been used to support the skeleton. As the skeleton was being carefully disassembled in August 2013, a two-page letter was discovered inside the pelvic bone. Written by Annie (Anne) Keating to Patricia, the letter discusses a visit to Napier by Marie Biel and the author’s plans for New Years Eve. While the content of the letter indicates that it was written after 1936, many questions about how the letter came to be stowed away in the moa skeleton remain unanswered: Was the letter placed there during the process of mounting the skeleton or was it inserted while the moa was on display? Who was responsible for putting it there? What motive did they have for saving it in such a way for posterity?
While it is unlikely that we will ever know the answers to these questions, research has yielded some information about the author of the letter. Born in 1873, Annie was the daughter of Mary and James Leith. In 1901, she married local cabman, Arthur Ernest Keating with whom she had five children. In the early years of their marriage, the couple lived on Colin Street in Ahuriri but by the late 1910s they had moved to nearby Waghorne Street. Annie subsequently appears to have remained in Ahuriri until at least the late 1950s, passing away in 1961.
Image credit: Letter to Patricia, Annie Keating, (b.1873, d.1961), collection of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2013/54
Kimberley Stephenson, Archivist
Terry Stringer’s Princess Margaret Blowing Her Nose (1980) was purchased by the MTG Foundation as a recent addition to the Fine Arts collection.
Princess Margaret Blowing Her Nose comes from an early period in Terry Stringer’s work in which he was working with painted wooden forms. Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust already have the lovely Reclining Woman work in our collection and have made strategic purchases over the last few years concentrating on early 1980s works including Hilda in her Cloche Hat (1983) and Egyptian Souvenir (1981).
The Princess Margaret work adds significantly to those holdings and seemed a particularly ideal work to add to the collection with its strong evocation of costume and style. For many of Stringer’s generation Princess Margaret was a post war fashion icon – the ‘naughty’ royal. Stringer capture’s that sense of personal style in his own distinctive way choosing a particular moment that gives the work an extra frisson of amusement and an element of charm.
The MTG Foundation viewed this work at their Christmas function and it was well loved.
Image credit: Princess Margaret Blowing Her Nose, 1980, Terry Stringer (b.1946), purchased with Mary Bestall funds by the MTG Foundation, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2013/62
Sara Browne, Access Team Leader
We recently received the gift of a gorgeous outfit designed by the New Zealand designer, Peggie Wilson. The race day outfit dates from 1967 and was made for the Melbourne Cup Race Day where it was awarded Highly Commended in a fashion show.
The outfit comprises a shirt, skirt, jacket, sash and matching hat. There is even a matching coat hanger which is quite unusual – often the hanger has been lost over the years, so it’s always great when they do survive with the original outfit. We often think of miniskirts when we think of the 60s but this A-line skirt is knee length and the strong tailoring in the shape of the jacket gives a sophisticated and timeless look rather than that of high fashion. Other costumes in the collection by Peggie Wilson include the Vienna Bon Bon evening dress and coat.
Image credit: Ensemble, 1967, Peggie Wilson (b.1921),gifted by Peggie Wilson, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2013/59/2
Sasha Smith, Registrar
Visit the Napier i-SITE to find out more about what is happening in Hawkes Bay, from events, activities and accommodation.
View website for Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre
The Faraday Centre in Napier, is Hawke's Bay's Museum of Technology. It's a place of discovery where history comes alive through hands on experience.
View website for The Faraday Centre
Situated in the centre of Napier, in the middle of Onekawa Park, the Napier Aquatic Centre is a safe and affordable aquatic facility for everyone.
View website for Napier Aquatic Centre
We offer an all purpose built venue that uniquely combines spectacular outlooks with functional layout.
View website for Napier Conference Centre
Come to Par2 MiniGolf and meet Seamore the Seagull at our sea-side minigolf courses. Challenge your friends and family for a round.
View website for Par2 MiniGolf
Build on the blossoming national and international interest in William Colenso's life and ideas as the result of the William Colenso Bicentenary Celebrations in Hawke's Bay in 2011, and a body of new publications and research.
View website for William Colenso
strive to Inspire, Educate and Entertain by providing access to information through various resources within our Libraries. We aim to provide more than you expect.
View website for Napier Libraries
We are Hawkes Bay's premier holiday accommodation park providing an array of facilities to keep the entire family entertained.
View website for Kennedy Park Resort Napier
Located on Marine Parade, Napier, is the Bay Skate Park - home to skateboarding, BMX, roller derby, inline hockey and scootering.
View website for Bay Skate
For Napier City residents and citizens to have easy access to see what council are currently working on, completed, what they do, facilities, and council information.
View website for Napier City Council
Nowhere else in New Zealand will you discover a wider range of marine animals and native species in a single facility than at the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
View website for National Aquarium of New Zealand
Located in the Art Deco city of Napier. We have worked closely with our builders to promote and develop high quality housing within an open-aspect environment.
View website for Parklands Residential Estate
Unique Art Deco heritage has been preserved with the skilful addition of modern theatre facilities making it the best provincial performing arts centre in the nation.
View website for Napier Municipal Theatre
If you have any questions, problems or feedback for MTG Hawke's Bay please let us know about it.