Whanganui Regional Museum

“Where there is a body of water, people settle. Where people settle, legends unfold”. The Whanganui Regional Museum, situated in Queens Park, the city’s cultural heart, is an essential stop in a region renowned for its rich cultural heritage and dramatic natural landscape. There you can discover taonga Māori, the ancestral treasures of the River people. You can explore the remarkable natural environment and learn about the many extinct and endangered birds, and meet generations of people whose stories bring our history to life. The Whanganui Regional Museum has contributed its changing exhibition programme to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme.

Visit the website of Whanganui Regional Museum.

Projects 2012

In 1939 and 2007 two photographers from different times, different generations and using different camera technology, photographed the central business area of Wanganui.

SNAP! features a selection of their photographs that show continuity or change within Wanganui. What is different in Wanganui today? Can we say that inner Wanganui is markedly different?

Both sets of photographs demonstrate points in time and technology. The 1939 photographs were taken with a Kodak, probably a folding bellows camera that packed down into a neat flat leather-covered packet, convenient to carry and very reliable. The images were printed in black and white 8 x 10s, a standard photographic printing size of the time. They were scanned and enlarged for SNAP!

The 2007 photographs were taken on a new millennium digital SLR camera, saved to file and printed in colour.

Land – Mana Whenua Mana Tangata

Land – Mana Whenua Mana Tangata is an exhibition that describes the development of the wider Whanganui region, community and city during the 19th century through experiences of tangata whenua and European settlers, with particular reference to land, spirituality, conflict and alliance. This exhibition illustrates some of the physical, spiritual, economic and social consequences of European contact and settlement on Māori in Whanganui in the 19th century – Christianity, Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi, 1848 Whanganui land sale, and the New Zealand wars of the 1840s and 1860s. The exhibition also describes settler experiences and the later 19th century boom of city expansion, river tourism and rural development.

Contact : Louise Follett, louisef@wrm.org.nz

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