Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting art off the fifth floor: the first 12 years

March 2000
Prime Minister Helen Clark is critical of how Te Papa displays its art and orders a review. In July the review recommends a new art exhibition area. Philanthropist Denis Adam and architect Ian Athfield propose reorganising Te Papa to accommodate a national art gallery and remodelling the nearby Odlins Building for more exhibition space. (Source: Dominion Post)
Te Papa converts the library space on the fifth floor into dedicated art spaces. (Source: Ministry for Culture &Heritage)
November 2005
UN Studio is a winner in the Waitangi Park design competition set up by the Wellington City Council. The brief was far-reaching but one element was for a 3,500 square meter building to be used an extension of the public exhibition space available to Te Papa. 'The concept for the two floors is a focus on "the contemporary" - primarily contemporary art and visual culture but with a breadth of view over contemporary ideas, popular culture, and including contemporary Mäori and Pacific art, and extending to fashion and design.' (Source: Dominion Post)
The long-term exhibition Toi Te Papa: Art of the Nation opens. Its display of Te Papa's collections is claimed as "a major rethink of the museum’s presentation of art." (Source: Ministry for Culture &Heritage)
July 2010
Te Papa closes its outdoor sculpture court.
November 2010
Te Papa's new chairman Wira Gardiner throws his weight behind building a $100 million art gallery to house the museum's collection. "I'm in a position as chair of Te Papa to move it forward expeditiously. We're engaged in that discussion and as far as I'm concerned, if we can line all the ducks up, I see no reason why we can't press on." (Source: Dominion Post)

“Prime Minister John Key says the Government doesn’t have $1 million to build a new national art gallery.... But we have an indication of one or two very wealthy philanthropists who may be interested in putting money into that venture...” (Source: 3News)

March 2011

"The board has made the decision that if private interests want to pursue it [a new National Art Gallery], they can, and if they later want to approach us to use some of the collection, that's another matter – but from a board point of view, we're getting on with our vision." Te Papa Chair Sir Wira Gardiner (Source: DominionPost)
September 2011
Te Papa focus groups to “explore and discuss ideas and concepts that Te Papa has about the re-development of our art exhibitions on level five.” (Source: Over the net)
August 2012
“In March 2013, the Level 5 Gallery space will be re-launched as part of a new model to show more of Te Papa's art collection, more often, through a dynamic exhibition programme.” Michael Houlihan, Chief Executive at Te Papa
August 2012
A working party led by Museum Hotel’s Chris Parkin and including Te Papa’s Kaihautu Michelle Hippolite, Property developer Mark Dunaitchik, and Wellington Waterfront’s Ian Pike, is working on the project.... Reliable sources say that  $50 million has already been promised for what the group is currently calling the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It is thought that includes $35 million from Dunaitchik.  (Source: Capital Times)
“This [more art being seen at Te Papa] might have happened earlier as Te Papa’s former director Seddon Bennington, had been determined to get more works on display. His death had been a huge hold up with everything being put on the back burner.” (Seddon Bennington was CE of Te Papa for six years and died in 2009) Mary Kisler Senior Curator AAG on secondment to Te Papa (Source: Capital Times)
Image: Un Studio’s design for what has become known as the ‘Transition Building’.