Exhibitions Archive

We Will Remember Them - ANZACs of World War I
April 2016 - February 2017

A series of ANZAC exhibition panels on display in the Wanganui War Memorial Centre
Open 10am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday or by appointment

Something Old, Something New - New Acquisitions 2015
April 2016 - September 2016

Our new exhibition features some of the Whanganui Regional Museum’s new acquisitions received in 2015. Fifteen objects or groups of objects have been selected to demonstrate the nature of current collecting. Some objects are obvious treasures while others are more prosaic, more ordinary. As part of a collection, however, they contribute to the story and history of Whanganui.



Back in the Box
October 2015 - April 2016
An exhibition by Whanganui UCOL Creative Programme students comprises art created in response to the Museum's collection. These original works show a range of interpretation and expression. Their delivery is dynamic and confronting.



Akaora i te peu Kuki Airani - Nurturing the Cook Islands Culture
August 2015 - December 2015

A small exhibition celebrates 50 years of Cook Islands Independence and links with Cook Islands Māori Language Week.


Infiltrations II
June 2015 - March 2016


In 2003 the core of a current 2015 Artists Group infiltrated the Museum exhibitions with art works created in response to the Museum collections. They were inspired by the idea of creating works that explore particular objects or collections of objects to experiment with blurring the boundaries between “authentic” museum collection objects and “art” objects.
Our Museum is now hosting Infiltrations II, 12 years later. The premise is the same and there are similarities with the 2003 show, but some works are radically different. In effect, the Museum hands over responsibility and power to the artists in order for them to realize their visions and they have done this. Contributing artists are Andrea Gardner, Brit Bunkley, Jo Pegler, Christine Hellyer, Karin Strachan and the F4 Collective of Sue Jowsey and Marcus Williams.
It’s up to the visitor to infiltrate the Museum, to search out the works and distinguish them from Museum exhibitions or collections.


Sovereign Woodware
March 2015 - October 2015

The Ron Lambert Collection

Ron Lambert, himself a museum curator and researcher, collected Sovereign woodware with an eye to the future. In 1958 he purchased his first piece, a student specimen set of native timbers in a small box, just because he liked it.

In the mid-1990s, he started collecting seriously. Sovereign woodware could be picked up for a song in second-hand shops. He managed to amass a nearly complete catalogue of the Sovereign products. A comprehensive selection from this extensive collection was made for this exhibition.


Pākaitore - It's not black and white
February 2015 - September 2016

A photographic essay by Leigh Mitchell-Anyon of the 1995 occupation of Pākaitore-Moutoa Gardens


Whanganui Iwi, the Pākaitore Oral History Project, Whanganui Regional Museum and photographer Leigh Mitchell-Anyon join together to produce an exhibition of photographs taken during the occupation of Pākaitore-Moutoa Gardens in Whanganui in 1995.
What was the Pākaitore occupation all about? Why was it so controversial? And where has it led to? This exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of the occupation and the progress of Whanganui tino rangatiratanga (absolute sovereignty).


Billy Connell's War - Whanganui in World War I
November 2014 - September 2016

This is a local story about a local lad, using a collection of photographs taken by Christopher William (Billy) Connell while on active service overseas. Billy Connell enlisted in 1914 and left with the Main Body of the NZ Expeditionary Force. He served in Gallipoli where he earned the Military Medal. He became ill, spent time in hospitals and had a motorcycle accident in England while on leave in 1916 returned home to a life that would never be the same again.


Back in the Box
August 2014 - March 2015

A new exhibition of art by Whanganui UCOL Creative Programme students draws from those enrolled in degree and diploma programmes at the Whanganui School of Design, the Quay School of the Arts, the School of Fashion and Whanganui Glass School. This is the first time ever that UCOL arts students have had works displayed at the Museum and we hope it becomes a regular event.



The Moa Gallery
September 2014 - September 2016

The Whanganui Regional Museum houses one of the most important collections of moa material in the world. Skeletal material from hundreds of individual birds is identified as being from at least five species. There is a complete moa egg, one of a very few in existence. There are also caches of moa gizzard stones and taonga (treasures) Māori carved from moa bone.



Gifted - New Contributions to the Collection 2013
April 2014 - August 2014


A selection of glamorous or everyday objects and archives donated to the Museum last year.


Tahā - A Conversation with Hine Pū Te Hue
April 2014 - February 2015

From the ancient and modern Māori worlds, hue and tahā (gourds) are represented alongside interactive programmes of art, music, history and gardening. Featuring works by Marty and Marilyn Vreede and members of the Māori Artists’ Collective, Manawa Ora Whanganui.


House of Bones - Discover, uncover what's under the skin
September 2016

An exhibition of skulls, skeletons and individual bones from the Museum collection tell how bones work, why they are important and what they are made of.

You walk into this slightly creepy house fitted out to resemble an Edwardian dwelling. It belongs to a Professor of Osteology – or the Bone Man. You move through different rooms - the library, the workroom, the attic, and you see a lot of bones. The surroundings enliven these bones – you almost expect them to start dancing.

There are plenty of activities for kids to do and lots of learning and fun available for all.

Click the above image to see a video of the House of Bones exhibition and  Moa Gallery made by Visit Whanganui.

Te Pū o te Oro - Sounds of Nature
May 2013 - October 2013


To celebrate Puanga this year we showcase taonga pūoro, traditional Māori musical instruments. Puanga traditions and activities encompass music and performance. This small show is part of a programme of Puanga-related events at the Museum in 2013.


Living Oceans
June 2013 - March 2014

Living Oceans is an exhibition of sea creatures that uses curriculum-based education programmes and public programmes to promote ocean conservation and health.

Your Treasures - New Acquisitions 2012
May 2013 - March 2014


Your Treasures is a new exhibition that highlights some of the Whanganui Regional Museum’s new acquisitions received in 2012.

Of over 350 objects or archives donated in 2012, 15 objects or groups of objects have been selected to demonstrate the nature of current collecting. Some objects are obvious treasures, like the beautifully made meat-carving set that belonged to the Reverend Richard Taylor, a 19th century missionary priest who lived and worked in Whanganui. The set contains a steel, a large carving knife and fork, and a smaller carving knife and fork, enclosed in a purpose-made pressed leather case lined with red satin.


Glass of Fashion Act II
March 2013 - September 2013

Award-winning costumes from the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand

Glass of Fashion has had a complete turn-around of costumes. With more of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand best student-designed costumes and a new interpretation and design, Glass of Fashion moves into Act II. The costumes are supported with 16th and 17th century objects and archives from the Museum’s rich collection.

Te Toi Ahurea ō Ngā Rauru
March 2013 - June 2013

Mā mātou koutou hei mihi, hei whakanui ki ngā toi tūturu nō te nehenehe nui. We are proud to support Ngā Rauru and their Te Toi Ahurea event, celebrating Ngā Raurutanga, its successes and its people.

Ngā Maunga Tūtei
February 2013 - September 2013


A small exhibition of historical black and white photographs of Mounts Ruapehu, Ngāuruhoe and Tongariro reminds us of the craftsmanship and the intrepid nature of some of the early Whanganui photographers, such as Frank Denton and Mark Lampe. “Rārangi maunga, tū i te ao, tū i te pō - rārangi tāngata, ka ngaro, ka ngaro noa.”


MINKISI Art and Belief in West and Central Africa
October 2012 - May 2014


Minkisi was created from a collection of West and Central African statues and masks owned by Whanganui collector Desmond Bovey. Dramatic and provocative, Minkisi provides a new and exciting range of experiences for discerning museum visitors.




Mono No Aware
September 2012 - February 2013

Pronounced 'mO-nO nO a-wa rA'

Objects from Japan’s historical past

We all understand the concept of impermanence and that objects can long outlast the hopes and dreams of their original owners. The Japanese expression mono no aware translates into English as the pathos of things. It expresses the bitter sweet plaintiveness related to the passing of life and time, while acknowledging a spirit imbued in old objects by their users.


Push, Pull and Pedal - Olympians from Whanganui
July 2012 - September 2012

The road to the Olympic Games is long and hard. It takes blood, sweat and tears for athletes to reach the pinnacle of their sports. This special exhibition shows you what it takes to reach the Olympic Games and make the dream of sporting success become a reality.

Glass of Fashion
August 2012 - March 2013

Award-winning costumes from the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand

For the first time the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand releases some of its award-winning costumes for display. The Museum is proud to present The Glass of Fashion with nine of the Shakespeare Globe Centre’s best student-designed costumes, winners of its annual costume design competition.


Cherry Blossom and Bamboo
July 2012 - February 2013

Fine porcelain and cloisonné from Japan and China

Cherry Blossom and Bamboo reflects the world of nature on exquisitely designed Chinese and Japanese ceramics and metal ware. The flowers and animals portrayed on the ceramics offer a glimpse into the inner world of symbolism and meaning that add to the beauty of the pieces.


Cranleigh Barton Paints Whanganui
June 2012 - January 2013

Cranleigh Barton was a prolific New Zealand water colourist who painted in Britain, Europe, the Pacific Islands and all over New Zealand. Barton had strong family connections with Whanganui, being a descendant of the Whanganui missionary Reverend Richard Taylor.

Ngā Manu: Birds of New Zealand
January 1970 - July 2013

Featuring endangered and extinct New Zealand birds such as the kiwi, moa and huia.

Gotta Go
January 1970 - September 2016

A light-hearted look at transport and communication.

January 1970 - September 2016

An early 20th century classroom where you can imagine the best and the worst – a great education, and the cane!

The Bug Room
January 1970 - September 2016

Butterflies and creepy crawlies from Whanganui and beyond.

The Street - Wanganui 1900-1920
January 1970 - September 2016

Recreation of early 20th century Whanganui shops and businesses from this prosperous time.

Click the above image to view a video of The Street made by Visit Whanganui

Te Pātaka Whakaahua - The Lindauer Gallery
January 1970 - September 2016

Portraits of prominent Māori rangatira (leaders) from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, by world-famous painter Gottfried Lindauer.

Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi - The Māori Court
January 1970 - September 2016

Features the great waka taua (war canoe) Te Mata o Hoturoa and an internationally renowned collection of taonga Māori.

Land - mana whenua, mana tangata
March 2012 - September 2016

Take a look at the Whanganui, its land its community and the town during the 19th century through experiences of both tangata whenua and European settlers, with particular reference to land, spirituality, conflict and alliance.

Your Treasures - New Acquisitions 2011
March 2012 - July 2012

Throughout the Museum’s long history private donations have been the driving force in creating one of the best museum collections in the Pacific.

Square & Compasses
March 2012 - July 2012

Freemasonry in New Zealand.

January 2012 - September 2012

Photographs of Whanganui by F H Bethwaite in 1939 and Beverley Sinclair in 2007.
Exploring the changing face of Whanganui.