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Von Tempsky

Episode:50Te Papa Collection:Art and Photography

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 7

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context, Social Sciences: Continuity and Change

Description:Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky was one of the most flamboyant characters of the New Zealand wars. But as Simon Morton discovers, his talents extended beyond the battlefield.

Questions for students

  1. Who was Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky and what was he famous for? What major events in New Zealand's history was he involved in?
  2. What do you know about methods of warfare used in the New Zealand Wars? What characteristics distinguished von Tempsky from most other soldiers?
  3. Research other past and present war artists and compare the way they worked with the way von Tempsky worked. How important is it for artists to engage with their subjects? How far should this extend?
  4. Compare von Tempsky with modern stereotypes of heroes. Use the 'Comparisons' response template to compare him with another real or fictitious modern fighting hero.
  5. What more would you like to know about von Tempsky? Is he the kind of person who would be admired if he were alive now? Give your reasons.

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