Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

New Remembrance Gallery

CN Editorial Team, ‘A legacy for future generations’ – Auckland Museum’s new remembrance gallery, 02 December 2016

A new gallery for New Zealanders to discover and commemorate those who’ve served their country in war has opened at Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Pou Maumahara is a space in which to remember our service people, reflect on their deeds and discover their individual stories, the Museum says.

Visitors are also encouraged to contribute personal knowledge and information, creating a legacy for the Great War Centenary.

The extensively restored gallery is home to Auckland Museum’s Online Cenotaph – a digital archive sharing the service records of individual New Zealanders.

Curator Georgina White explains that while this can be accessed anywhere, the experience of using it within the Museum will be enriched.

“Only in Pou Maumahara will visitors be able to talk with and ask questions of our expert staff, access subject-specific books and connect the Online Cenotaph records to physical objects from our collections,” she said.

Those collections include hundreds of New Zealand war medals, each linked to a personal story, as well as photographs and diaries.

“I hope that visitors feel excited about the potential for discovering stories in the hidden detail of objects, so much so that they want to rush home and re-examine the treasures they’ve stored in shoeboxes in their attics,” Georgina White says.

Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare describes the restored gallery as ‘aesthetically breathtaking’, while also offering visitors the latest standards of lighting, design and interpretation.

“We have made every effort to recover the integrity of the concept for commemorative spaces as originally conceived in 1929. Our forebears envisaged the spaces either side of the WW1 Sanctuary being used as sources of memory; in presenting this new gallery we are responding to their vision.”

Pou Maumahara Memorial Discovery Centre opened on the eve of Armistice Day, 2016. More information about the gallery, and Online Cenotaph, can be found on the Auckland War Memorial Museum website.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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