The Museum of Wellington's 10 Years in Wonderland

10 Years in Wonderland

Museum of Wellington City & Sea

Since opening on 27 November 1999, the Museum of Wellington City & Sea’s mission has been to preserve, present and promote Wellington’s social, cultural and maritime heritage. After 10 years of operation the Museum continues to strengthen its relationships with Wellington communities and explore new areas in which to convey Wellington stories.

The Museum recently celebrated its 10th birthday with the opening of its feature exhibition 10 years in Wonderland. In the style and setting of a Wonderland tea party, this mad hatter exhibition showcases the quirkier and more unusual objects from the Museum collection. Some of these fascinating items are on public display for the very first time and all give a unique insight into Wellington’s social, cultural and maritime stories with an eccentric twist.

The Museum’s collection includes over 65,000 items that range from a complete set of replica crown jewels to rare maritime art. “This birthday celebration is the perfect time to showcase and bring to life some of the unique, strange and unusual objects from our collection store” says Museum Collection Manager Dean Miller. “We have chosen some of these more unusual objects as they often tell the most interesting stories.”

Within the exhibition itself is a kiosk that has been set up to provide direct access to the Museum’s webpage on the NZMuseums website. Here, every item in the exhibition has been listed on eHive so that visitors to the Museum, or even people sitting at their home computer, can learn more about a particular object of interest in the exhibition. It also serves as a useful education tool for visiting school groups.

This exhibition not only celebrates the unique, quirky and diverse aspects of the Museum collection but is also a great opportunity for it to be expanded and strengthened. The majority of the many objects on display in the exhibition will be items that have been donated to the Museum collection. “It is because of these generous donations, or gifts to the Museum if you like, that we are able to continue to display exciting and provocative exhibitions” says Mr Miller. “Our 10th birthday celebrations are also an appropriate time to invite new and interesting donations to enhance our collection and to enable us to tell more stories about Wellington and Wellingtonians”.

10 Years in Wonderland – On until 23 May 2010

Museum of Wellington City & Sea

Queens Wharf

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Free entry

Image 1: photo: Justine Hall

Image 2: photo: Justine Hall