Can old-fashioned clothing be fashionable? Of corset can!

20 April 2009,

The three winners of Museums Aotearoa's annual awards for excellence were
announced at a gala event in Gisborne on the 16th April, 2009 - and all were from the South Island. Winners included a major metropolitan museum, a respected provincial museum, and the director of a small visionary art gallery.

In presenting the Awards, Priscilla Pitts, former Chair of Museums Aotearoa, said she was thrilled to see such excellent nominations in this, the second annual awards round. 'We wanted to celebrate and show the public some of the wonderful achievements by people in museums and galleries throughout New Zealand, their commitment and enthusiasm. The range and quality of this year's entrants endorses this goal.'.

Fred & Myrtle's Paua Shell House at Canterbury Museum won the Innovation Award,
the Selecon Award for Exhibition Excellence was won by Nelson Provincial Museum
for Unpicking the Past, and Warwick Smith won the Individual Achievement Award.

In presenting the Selecon Award for Exhibition Excellence to Peter Millward of Nelson Museum, selection panellist Jane Legget, editor of Te Ara: Journal of Museums Aotearoa noted that Unpicking the Past: Revealing our Dress Collection 'exemplifies how detailed object-based research enables our material culture to provide unexpected and meaningful insights. This costume exhibition, by highlighting individual dresses, their design, technology, creation, use, wearers and history, succeeds in allowing each dress to tell its own story.'

'Selecon NZ Ltd is proud to sponsor the exhibition award,' said Deepak Nayee, Selecon's Architectural and Display product manager. 'Our aim in providing the prize of a study trip to Melbourne to meet with designers and look at exemplary projects, is to raise awareness of the key role that lighting plays in exhibition and museum display.'

Museums Aotearoa Executive Director Phillipa Tocker said she was thrilled to see these successes being celebrated. 'Being recognised by your peers is surely the highest accolade - and being able to celebrate these achievements more widely is a source of pride not only for the individuals and organisations who were honoured tonight, but for the whole of New Zealand's museum sector. The selection panel was impressed by the calibre of the projects and applications it received, and Museums Aotearoa is delighted to congratulate all those who participated.'