Temporary exhibitions explore a wide variety of Banks Peninsula-related subjects from the serious to the quirky.
Behind the scenes, staff are always working at developing the Museum's collection. Two recent additions have been:
The current temporary exhibition is a display from each of these acquisitions. It runs until 26 November 2017.
Painted and Carved presented a survey of the unique artistic output of John Henry Menzies (1839-1919), otherwise employed as a Banks Peninsula farmer.
Menzies' artistic legacy includes around 80 pieces of carved furniture, one decorated house (of three) named Rehutai, and one decorated church, St. Lukes Anglican Church at Little Akaloa.
In 1910 he published Maori Patterns Painted and Carved. Menzies was fascinated by the patterns in Māori art which he studied and reproduced in his art works, often combining these with botanical reliefs, Celtic motifs, proverbs and sayings.
5th December 2014 marked a milestone in the history of Akaroa Museum. It was the Museum’s fiftieth anniversary, celebrated with a community birthday event on Sunday 7th December, and a new exhibition, ‘Fifty’. This exhibition combined the story of the founding of Akaroa Museum with a playful display of 50 objects chosen from the collection, one object to represent each year since opening.
This was an exhibition of interconnected objects and overlapping stories that explored the history of nineteenth century Banks Peninsula.
Tales of Banks Peninsula was about the reactions of settlers to their new home and environment, and of Māori to the new settlers.
This exhibition looked at some of the main events of the First World War concentrating on the experiences of the Banks Peninsula servicemen and servicewomen, often using their own words to describe them.
Based on first-hand accounts, Fronting Up displayed photographs, letters and souvenirs collected by the soldiers and nurses, some of whom (lest we forget) were never to return.
This “Stage 1” reopening exhibition followed 55 weeks of being closed to the public due to concerns around the seismic strength of the Museum buildings. Horomaka was developed around the life cast of Takatahara (Tangatahara) made in 1840 and several ancestor portraits connected to Ōnuku. The content was themed around cultural and artistic meetings and negotiations during the 19th century.
12 July 2013
A different way of looking at the Museum's historic photograph collection. Stray dogs, street dogs, working dogs, pet dogs, lap dogs: once you start looking, you see that dogs are everywhere (as the Pulp song goes).
In collaboration with Akaroa District Promotions, the Museum showed the best entries in a photograph competition to capture the spirit of being in Akaroa on holiday.
Akaroa was recognised early as a favoured resort for holidays, becoming even more popular as road transport improved.
Campers, bach-owners, convalescents, day-trippers and honeymooners have enjoyed the unique charms of the town for decades.
A recent development has been the use of Akaroa Harbour as a port for cruise ships, which deposit hundreds of visitors at a time in the small town.
Timed to celebrate the centenary of the introduction of municipal electricity generation in Akaroa, Electric Servants looked at the impact the introduction of electricity had in the domestic realm.
Early electrical appliances including heaters, jugs and irons from the Museum's collection featured, alongside a history of the Akaroa Borough Council's venture into generating electricity for its ratepayers.
A selection of diverse objects from local collectors.
This year's selection included cast iron money boxes, Russian nesting dolls, prints of mounted troopers, promotional pens and erasers.
The hall known today as The Gaiety was built in 1879 as an Oddfellows Lodge, later being used as a picture theatre.
Having undergone a recent renovation, it is still a much-loved venue for community events and celebrations.
The exhibition delves into the history of the Akaroa Oddfellows, the building of the hall, showing movies, and the wide range of other events held there.
The first rudimentary charts of Akaroa Harbour (the long harbour) were produced by whalers in the early 1830s.
Ten and twenty years later the French and English drew more accurate and sophisticated charts, recording water depths and land features, and naming places.
Digital copies of some of these early charts of the harbour are on show in this exhibition.
A selection of diverse collections from local collectors.
This year's selection included Weet-bix cards, cats' whiskers, miniature carousels, model aircraft, 45 rpm records, salt and pepper shakers and kitchen colanders.
The Museum relies on donations of objects to build its collection and this exhibition showed the range of objects recently donated:
This exhibition commemorated the formal protection by Christchurch City Council in 2009 of Takapūneke as a Historic Reserve. Using images, text and oral history interviews, the exhibition placed the history of Takapūneke within the wider cultural landscape of Akaroa Harbour with reference to a number of registered wāhi tapu including Tuhiraki (Bossu), Ōnawe, Ōteauheke (Brasenose) and Takapūneke.
Marking 40 years of the Akaroa Civic Trust and its work to preserve the beauty and charm of Akaroa, the central element in this exhibition was a series of black and white photographs taken by Peter Beaven in the late 1960s, recording the details that he believed invested Akaroa with such character and charm.
The community's collections provided the content for Quirky Collections II.
Digitally enlarged copies of original photographs taken by Jessie Buckland in the mid-1920s, using her new wide format panorama camera.
Jessie was Akaroa's well-known professional photographer with an artist's eye for composition.
These beautiful black and white images of the Akaroa harbour and hills are some of her best work.
A chronicle of some of Akaroa's most dramatic events over the past 150 years - plummeting planes, fatal fires, raging epidemics, out-of-control horses, tragic shipwrecks and mysterious disappearances.
The community's collections provided the content for Quirky Collections.
Transformers, egg cups, bricks, bullets, shearing hand-pieces and a working model steam locomotive featured.
The Peninsula's finest young men at play - trophies, banners, photographs and jerseys were displayed in this exhibition held to mark the centennial of the Banks Peninsula Rugby club.
Contemporary photographs by Neil Pardington of two important local interiors, one a private home and the other a church, both created by Little Akaloa farmer and amateur carver, J.H. Menzies.
"Rehutai" was the Menzies' family home in Menzies Bay, and St Luke's is the Anglican Church at Little Akaloa.
Included in the exhibition was J.H. Menzies' folio of carving patterns, compiled in the early years of the 20th century.
An exhibition of images used to promote Akaroa as a tourist destination, and souvenirs made for the visitor market.
Most famous among the souvenir ware was Pompey china, produced during the years preceding WW1 and bearing the image of Akaroa's pet penguin, known as Pompey.
To mark heritage week, with its theme of Pacific Pathways, the Museum developed an exhibition featuring the mix of peoples who made up Akaroa's population in the period 1840-1900.
Contrary to the popular and much-promoted belief that they were all French, there were notable figures from this early period with very mixed origins.
Joining the first occupants of the Akaroa Harbour area, the local Maori population, were American, English, Portuguese, Italian, German and Chinese, as well as the French settlers who arrived in 1840 on the immigrant ship the Comte de Paris.
Timed to coincide with the 150th School Reunion Celebrations this exhibition surveyed the history of the school.
Included in the exhibition was a selection of photographs of pupils and samples of school rolls.
Banks Peninsula was famous in the mid-late 19th century for its high quality dairy produce.
Many of the surrounding bays had their own dairy factories, producing butter and cheese for export.
Milk It included equipment used in the manufacturing process, both on home farms and in the factories, photographs and records.
A selection of early maps and charts of Akaroa Harbour from the first 10 years of European settlement, illustrating the fluid nature of early place-names, which changed from Maori to French to English.
Supplementary material included a surveyor's chain and an early subdivision plan for Birdlings Flat, to be known as the Township of Seaforth.
An exhibition toured by the French Embassy celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and New Zealand, which formally began in 1945.
Distinguished French and New Zealand scholars contributed to an accompanying catalogue.
Until relatively recently, Akaroa was home to a thriving fishing industry, with up to 40 fishing boats working out of the Harbour.
This exhibition told of the fishing traditions of many local families, the perils of a working life at sea, and the changes in the industry with the introduction of the fishing quota system and growing importance of tourism to the town.
Timed to coincide with the abolition of the Banks Peninsula District Council, in March 2006, and the area's inclusion as part of Christchurch City Council, this exhibition surveyed the various local authorities which had governed Banks Peninsula since 1876.
Akaroa's late 19th and early 20th century builders left a legacy of heritage buildings in Akaroa which make the town a showcase for New Zealand colonial architecture.
J J Donovan, J J Cullen and J J Walker were responsible for some of Akaroa's well-known public buildings as well as cottages and larger homes, many of which survive today.
Other builders, including the Newton and Haylock families, and William Penlington, also had their handiwork featured.
To mark the centennial celebrations held by the Akaroa Bowling Club, the Museum displayed a selection of objects associated with the long history of the club.
These included a rule book, a set of wooden bowls, various medals and badges, and photographs.
Drawn from the Museum's own collection of photographs, this exhibition illustrated a variety of local personalities from the past, in their places of work, or with the tools of their trade.
They included a farmer, a fisherman, a schoolteacher, a lace-maker, a carter and a gardener.
A selection of mysterious objects was brought out from the storeroom for this interactive exhibition.
Visitors were invited to guess at the function of the objects, learning at the end of the exhibition whether they had guessed correctly.
Among the mystery objects were a curd-cutter, a peck measure, a grass seed flail, and a fly trap.
This exhibition highlighted the work of the Akaroa Civic Trust in preserving the town's heritage and general charm.
Much of this work is in partnership with other organisations, such as the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the local authority and the Akaroa Museum.
The Civic Trust has also produced an attractive walking guide to the historic area of Akaroa.
In February 2004, Akaroa hosted a rally of hundreds of Harley Davidson enthusiasts.
To complement the event, the Museum displayed a 1928 Harley motorcycle with sidecar, lent by a local resident, which had once belonged to the local butcher and was used for deliveries.
Photographs and stories about other Akaroa owners of these iconic machines complemented the motorcycle.
To illustrate the wide range of special objects being constantly donated to the Museum collection, this exhibition included:
An exhibition tracing the evolution of the delightful reserve enveloping the cemeteries at the southern end of Akaroa.
Known as the Akaroa Domain at the time of its creation in 1876, it was renamed the Garden of Tane in the 1980s.
It was at one time home to a charming summerhouse, a ferny grotto and the Domain Tennis Club courts.
Local artist, Will Watkins, was an accomplished and prolific landscape painter during the latter part of the 19th century.
For this exhibition the Museum's small collection of Watkin's work was supplemented by works borrowed from his descendants, and from the Christchurch Art Gallery.
A spectacular panoramic painting of Akaroa Harbour is part of the Akaroa Museum's permanent collection.
Drawing on the Museum's own collection and supplemented with items borrowed from the community, this exhibition of toys and games of the past brought together:
Focusing on the effects on Banks Peninsula people of the two major world conflicts of the 20th century, WWI and WWII, this exhibition looked not only at the experiences of those who went overseas to fight, but also at what 'doing our bit' meant for those at home.
The exhibition showed how peace was celebrated at the end of both wars, and the importance of memorials in honouring those who died.
An exhibition which dramatically illustrated the variety of problems which can affect works of art on paper, and provided tips on preventing them.
Lynn Campbell, paper conservator at the Christchurch Art Gallery, put these examples together as teaching aids for her work and lent them to the Akaroa Museum for exhibition.
The important social role played by hotels was evident in this exhibition about the pubs of the Peninsula.
The early Akaroa hotels, such as William Green's Victoria Inn, and Bruce's Hotel, were the haunts of whalers and fishermen, while many of the outlying bays also had their local pubs.
10:30am to 4:30pm,
seven days a week