Otago Museum collection officer Jamie Metzger holds a 19th
century blunderbuss, being prepared for display. Photo by
Intensive work is continuing behind the scenes at the
Otago Museum, to complete preparations for the museum's planned
''Gifts and Legacies'' exhibition, which opens tomorrow.
About 45 benefactor stories are told as part of the show,
which celebrates the museum's ''proud history of patronage
Among artefacts on display are several flintlock firearms,
including blunderbuss weapons which were part of a collection
of artefacts once owned by Scottish-born Alexander Thomson.
Mr Thomson founded Thomson and Co, an award-winning aerated
water and cordial manufacturing company, in Dunedin in the
1860s, and his family donated items after his death in 1904.
Also celebrated in the show is German-born Wili Fels, a
notable figure in the Hallenstein Bros clothing business.
He gave more than 8000 humanities items to the museum, and
also established a major collections purchasing fund.
Other featured donors include collectors, missionaries and
explorers, and items have come from many people and
organisations, including Sir Ernest Shackleton, entertainer
Ray Columbus and the Otago Daily Times.
''The Otago Museum's collection would not be what it is today
- a world-class collection spanning many eras and nations -
without the generations of benefactors who have entrusted us
with their precious collections,'' museum director Dr Ian
The display will run at the museum's Special Exhibitions
Gallery until November 23.