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Frame Detective – A Case of Woodworm

Episode:68Te Papa Collection:Art and Photography

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 7

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context Communicating and Interpreting

Description:Te Papa's frame expert Matthew O'Reilly explains how a little detective work helped uncover the mystery behind a frame.

Questions for students

  1. Use the 'Words' response template to record and explore words from this Tale. Choose from words such as 'art buff', 'conserve', 'restore', 'woodworm', 'dilapidated', 'flamboyant' and 'aesthetic'. Research their meanings, derivations and related words.
  2. What is Matthew O'Reilly's job? What does his job at Te Papa usually involve?
  3. In what sense is O'Reilly a detective? What questions did he ask and what clues did he use to find answers?
  4. Why would an artist want to use an old and damaged frame? Do you think the artist wanted to communicate something by his choice of frame? If so, what does it communicate to you? If not, why do you think he chose this frame?
  5. How important is it for a museum or gallery 'not to mess with the intentions of the artist'? What rights do owners of art works have over the objects they have bought? What is your opinion? Debate this issue with others.

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