The Nelson Provincial Museum has been a treasure for our region since 1841, making it New Zealand’s oldest museum. There are over 200,000 historical artefacts and 1.5 million photographs carefully preserved and stored at the research facility at Isel Park in Stoke.
The “Meltdown – Visualising Climate Change” exhibition is very timely in light of the recent civil emergency we have just experienced, with devastating rain and flooding across the region. It seems that these “100-year events” are happening more often and will become the new norm.
The truth is the scientific data has been there for years, and when you visit the Meltdown exhibition you can see the evidence of glaciers around the world shrinking quickly. They
are like markers for our planet earth and indicate that change is in the air. It opens the conversation about what can we do to reduce the impact we are having on the planet.
Alongside the Meltdown exhibition is a thought-provoking collection of images of New Zealand’s own glaciers that remind us how much our local environment is changing too. The team at the Nelson Provincial Museum work hard at presenting these in new ways.
“We have started experimenting with printing our graphics on to wallpaper instead of vinyl, and it’s just one of the many things we are doing to work more sustainably, reduce waste, and minimise our carbon footprint,” says Lucinda Jimson – Chief Executive of the Nelson Provincial Museum.
A visit to the regional gallery downstairs is a great way find out about the stories that make our region so special. Here you can find various fashions that have been and gone. For example, there are a set of bloomers and a showcase of popular local beach attire from the 1970s that include some funky orange Bata Bullets shoes (which some could say are very much in fashion to this day. You can also check out multimedia displays, images, and stories about the old Griffins Biscuit factory in Nile Street that employed hundreds of women and even provided kiwi biscuits to the soldiers fighting in the war in the Middle East.
This is also the place to learn about tangata whenua, the first inhabitants of the land. The compelling histories and legends of the six iwi the Museum work with are supported by
beautiful and significant objects of great mana.
Coming up soon will be a special exhibition, “Treasured”, which will share some of the most iconic, surprising, and precious objects from Nelson Provincial Museum’s collection.
These include a painting from Goldie, a korowai gifted by Princess Te Puea to Sir Keith Holyoake, and the medals of the Angel of Antwerp. Stay tuned to the Museum’s social media for opening details.
Entry is free for locals and there are lots of exciting things on the horizon, so visit their website for more information. If you have friends or family visiting the region, a trip to the museum is time well spent. They have a well-stocked gift shop on site that sells interesting books, educational toys, gorgeous homewares from local craftspeople and stunning jewellery including local pounamu.
Located on the corner of Trafalgar and Hardy Street, Nelson Provincial Museum is easy to find and there are plenty of great cafes nearby.
Explore the virtual tour at Nelson Provincial Museum