'ODT' pictorial history popular Otago Museum exhibition

A 150-year-long exposure of Otago Daily Times photographs has kept the Otago Museum busy with a stready stream of visitors.

"Focal Point: 150 years of the Otago Daily Times" celebrates the photographic history of New Zealand's oldest daily newspaper, including historic Otago events such as the Beatles' 1964 visit to Dunedin, the 1979 Abbotsford slip and the 1981 Springbok tour.

Museum marketing co-ordinator Juliet Pierce said this week the exhibition was proving popular, with 2758 visitors in its first week.

The exhibition includes a "Memories and Favourites" interactive station, encouraging visitors to select their favourite photograph from the show.

Selections will be published in the ODT and on the ODT website.

"A great range of people of all ages have been responding and leaving comments," contents services co-ordinator Eleanor Ross said.

"A lot of the memories have been quite specific.

"A woman told us how the photo of the Queen and Prince Phillip in Dunedin in the 1950s reminded her of being there dressed up in a ball gown as a debutante and how she spent the day trying to meet the Queen.

"At one point, she and her partner were running along their car down the street, when Prince Phillip leaned out and, in typical Duke of Edinburgh fashion, yelled out: 'Not you two again!"'

The most popular photographs in the exhibition voted on so far included images of a snail on a car, a boy with a melting ice cream and that famous feral sheep from Tarras, Shrek.

"One hundred and fifty years is a very significant achievement for any organisation. The Otago Daily Times is an important part of how Otago sees itself," museum experience and development manager Clare Wilson said.

"Focal Point: 150 years of the Otago Daily Times" is on in the special collections gallery until June 17.

Entry is free.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz


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