History re-purposed

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<em>The Switchback</em> by Kittie Roberts, 1933. Colour linocut.

The Switchback by Kittie Roberts, 1933. Colour linocut.

Pictured above is one of Te Papa’s recently unveiled treasures, which can be licensed by designers to create anything from wrapping paper to fabric prints, wallpaper and historically-rich homeware products.

Among some of the uncovered objects from the national museum’s coffers are Betty Isaacs’ hand-drawn wallpaper designs from the late 1920s and cartoons drawn by Felix Kelly in the 1940s. Te Papa’s media sales and licensing advisor David Riley says he’s excited for the potential of re-purposing items in the collection, bringing them to life in new ways.

“We’ve had linocuts by Ethel Spowers transformed into stunning cards by a UK-based company, and Winifred Knights’ painting The Marriage at Cana has been turned into quality homeware products, to accompany a successful exhibition of her works at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.

“There is an incredible wealth of material in Te Papa’s collection and so many bespoke ways to repurpose pieces.” 

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