Autumn exhibition changeover: the final week

The final week of the changeover process saw the three exhibition spaces completed and ready for the public to enjoy. Over the course of the week the install team at MTG have been busy installing the last of the large scale works in the exhibitions. The graphic design team had the task of producing exhibition labels and banners, which were installed into the spaces. A lighting specialist made sure the lights were perfected and each object was lit to conservation standards. Decorative gold leaf sheets were applied to an entire wall in one of the shows and visitor books were stationed in the galleries. This week was about the finishing touches, all in preparation for the opening day on Saturday 29 March.

Here is a sneak preview of the autumn suite of exhibitions and the new additions to the spaces this week. The exhibitions run until 24 August 2014, so make sure you come along and see them for yourself.


_DSC0105 _DSC0076A Bronwynne Cornish ceramic from the exhibition Mudlark.

_DSC0081Gold leaf and lighting creates a ethereal ambiance.

_DSC0083Standing figures by Bronwynne Cornish stand guard.

_DSC0016The visitor’s book in Katy Wallace’s exhibition Transmogrifier Machine is ready for guests.

_DSC0093Light shades made from found objects by Katy Wallace in the Transmogrifier Machine.

_DSC0095Unique furniture designs by Katy Wallace in the Transmogrifier Machine.

Check out our website to find out more about the autumn suite of exhibitions and upcoming floor talks by Bronwynne Cornish and Katy Wallace. These talks will be a great opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about their process and the ideas behind their work.

Sarah Powell
Collection Assistant-Photography
March 2014


Napier: The Nice of the South

For the past 12 months I have been mining the regional archive for treasures we’ll exhibit when the MTG opens in September 2013. Amongst the archive’s weightier objects, I’ve discovered some delightful gems including a printed advertisement made in 1922 for a black and white silent film directed by Horace Spence Cottrell, a member of Napier’s Thirty Thousand Club. Cottrell’s film His First Movie: a scenic novelty was part of The Club’s campaign to show New Zealand and the world that Napier – ‘Bright, Breezy, and Beautiful’ – was ‘an ideal spot in which to live; excellent in its health records, municipal enterprise, scholastic organisations and for its natural beauty of situation, which has gained for it the reputation of being the Nice of the South.’[1] By promoting Napier as a seaside resort, the Club aimed to attract new residents. If the population reached 30,000, the town would become a city; a larger population would support local industry and spur Napier’s progress.

 Advertisement for His First Movie: a scenic novelty, 1922, Horace Spence Cottrell (d.1960), Collection of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, M2006/63

As Cottrell himself wrote, the opportunity to borrow a Prestwitch ‘cine-camera’ and consume vast amounts of negative film and spare cash presented itself in November 1921.[2] Cottrell took leave from his family business Novelty Depot, a homewares store on Hastings Street, and set about capturing Napier’s scenery and leisure activities. The making of the film was not without its hiccups. Cottrell’s heroine fell overboard during the sailing scene; the sun did not shine on Tangoio falls as the weatherman had promised; and the George Swan Memorial Pool was extraordinarily crowded. Cottrell explained:

The pool at Napier is tremendously popular with the kiddies. It was necessary to film this spot at 10.30am, but the crowds of children do not usually arrive ‘til about noon. So we advertised: ‘Boys and girls who wish to act for a moving picture at the paddling pool are invited to be on location at 10.30 Saturday morning.’ They came – five hundred of them – and each one expected to be treated to a close-up![3]

Despite a few bloopers, Cottrell was clearly proud of his film. Printed on a small, unassuming foldout card, his ad informed the people of Napier that His First Movie would tour New Zealand for 15 months. Moviegoers from Auckland to Invercargill would all have the opportunity to see Napier star on the big screen. ‘This picture goes as your representative for the progress of Napier,’ Cottrell wrote in his advertisement, ‘do your part, tell your friends to see it. ’[4] Profits from ticket sales would fund a merry-go-round on Marine Parade. Cottrell’s ad and the film itself, the latter sourced from the New Zealand Film Archive, will be on display in the MTG’s new exhibition Take these with you when you leave: treasures of the archive opening in September 2013.

[1] “Goals of the club: NAPIER’S 30,000 CLUB,” Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXIX, Issue 12922, 16 November 1912, 2.

[2] “His First Move: Amazing Experiences in Hawke’s Bay,” The NZ Theatre and Motion Picture Magazine, 1 August 1922, 14.

[3] “His First Move: Amazing Experiences in Hawke’s Bay,” The NZ Theatre and Motion Picture Magazine, 1 August 1922, 14.

[4] Horace Cottrell’s printed advertisement for His First Movie: a scenic novelty (MTG Archive: M2006/63)

Georgina White
Curator Social History
May 2013

The Art of Copyright

Here at the Museum we have been very busy working behind the scenes ahead of the much anticipated opening later this year. I have been working with the Access Team, on a student scholarship from Victoria University over the summer. My job is to find copyright owners for works that we hold in our collection and ask them for copyright permission. Having written permission lets us reproduce images of works for the marketing of upcoming exhibitions as well as online. Copyright can be a confusing notion for many people, so I have written a short guide to what it is and why it is important for a Museum.

What is copyright exactly?

Copyright is a legal concept and generally means “the right to copy”. By granting someone copyright permission, you are letting them copy something for a specific purpose. New Zealand has its own copyright legislation, the Copyright Act of 1994. Protecting copyright in original work is important and is put in place to protect intellectual property rights for artists, musicians and authors.

Copyright arises automatically as soon as a tangible literary, musical or artistic work is created. Ownership of the work and ownership of the copyright in a work exist separately from each other. Copyright can also be sold or bequeathed and is commercially viable. The person who first created the work, (which the Copyright Act refers to as the author) generally owns the copyright, unless it is a commission.

Copyright exists for the lifetime of the author and then a further 50 years after their death under New Zealand law or 70 years in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom law. Once the author has died their copyright ownership is automatically passed down to their next of kin or a nominee can be appointed. For example, if an artist painted a work in New Zealand in 1955 and died in 2012 then copyright on that work expires at the end of the calendar year of 2062.

The New Suburb, Roy Cowan, collection of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2011/48

Why does the Museum need permission to copy work that it owns?

As a museum and art gallery we are constantly reproducing images of works within our collection for internal use or for marketing purposes. Although it seems harmless, reproducing images for any of these purposes infringes the copyright owner’s rights. In order to reproduce images of objects that are still in copyright we must legally gain copyright permission as failure to do so can result in fines or legal action.

Luckily, as a Museum we hold a lot of ancient treasures in our collection and the majority of these objects are out of copyright. More importantly, all photographs taken before 1944 are also deemed to be out of copyright, which makes my job much easier. I have included images of works in this blog which we have gained copyright permission for already for you to enjoy.

Maungatoruto, 1936, Felix Kelly, collection of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2009/16/2

How do you find the copyright owner?

Many of our objects that are under copyright are made by well-known local artists, and sometimes it can be as simple as looking them up in the phone book. Once found, we contact them to gain permission for a copyright licence. On the other hand, finding families of artists who are deceased can involve a great deal of detective work to track down. Some works may have an unknown author and the Museum must legally make a reasonable enquiry into finding the copyright owner before we reproduce any images of orphan works.

So far we have managed to track down a number of families of artists who have passed away, whose work we hold in our collection. One in particular is the potter, Olive Jones, who along with Elizabeth Matheson demonstrated and sold work at the New Zealand Centennial in 1939-40. She never married and lived with her sister in Auckland, until her death in 1982. We hold a few of her works in our collection and they are included in our opening exhibitions, alongside works from her contemporaries, Briar Gardner and Elizabeth Matheson. Due to lack of copyright permission we have never been able to reproduce images of the works before.

Pottery Ashtray, c.1940, Olive Jones, collection of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 98/49/1

Fortunately, our volunteer and avid genealogist, Carol Dacey, found a contact for Olive’s nephew who was delighted to hear that Olive’s work would be exhibited and was more than happy to grant permission for copyright on behalf of the family. He has nostalgic memories of growing up next door to Olive and as a young boy watching her throw pots in her studio. He was very fond of a particular glaze she used on her works, one that was painted on green but turned a brilliant copper colour once fired. Recollections such as this add more depth to the objects and having permission to share them with the public makes the copyright research even more rewarding.

Sarah Powell
Copyright Researcher
February 2013

Disclaimer: This blog is made purely with the intentions of explaining NZ copyright legislation. If you require further advice please consult a lawyer.