Brief History and the 4 Historical Figures
The collections of the NMAG dates back to the period of British colonization of Papua when the territory of Papua came under British control and was then called British New Guinea (BNG). The idea of creating a museum or a collection emerged when Anthony Musgrave who was the Government Secretary at that time wrote to the Chief Secretary in Queensland proposing the idea of building a museum.
What is contained at the Museum? What can visitor expect when they visit?
The National Museum and Art Gallery belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea. The National Museum is house to well over 30 000 anthropological objects more than 25 000 archaeological collections, more than 18 000 natural science collections, more than 20 000 war relics and more than 7000 contemporary art collections.
Key hubs of the Museum
1. Newly renovated Nora Vagi Brash Amphitheatre is now ready for use and has been the host venue to some major events and concerts. The Amphitheatre is named after Papua New Guinea poet and scriptwriter Nora Vagi Brash
2. Modern history Museum is now temporarily located at the entrance to the National Museum and Art Gallery, Waigani and displays war relic which tells the modern history of PNG.
3. A function area and kiosk ideal for outdoor function is located close to the Amphitheatre area.
4. The Constitutional Park and Cultural Village is a cultural hub for city residents and has a variety of traditional house from all over PNG.
5. The Art Gallery which contains 2 existing galleries namely, Independence Gallery, Masterpiece Gallery and the Built on Culture Exhibition. Apart from these are collections displayed by William Mac Gregor.
This gallery features a stunning canoe from the Trobriand Islands of Milne Bay used during the Kula Trade that is practice in the Massim archipelago. This trade is significant to the outer islands of Milne Bay. The upper section displayed in the glass is traditional cooking utensils, bilums, traditional ceremonial dress and traditional fishing equipment. A collection display of traditional musical instruments takes you up to the entrance to the Masterpiece gallery on your left and Sir William MacGregor’s collections on your right.
This gallery is adorned with a distinctive selection of the museum’s cultural objects that associates with religious beliefs and spirits from prehistoric times to the present. It contains a total of 209 selected exhibits. This gallery contains watercrafts, architecture, household items, gardening and fertility items, hunting and warfare, musical instruments, mortuary objects.
Built on Culture: the art of Papua New Guinea
This exhibition highlights the unique cultural diversity of Papua New Guinea, a country shaped by hundreds of languages and traditional social groups. Featuring a selection of works from the extensive 80 000 collections of the National Museum and Art Gallery from all over Papua New Guinea.
Built on Culture celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea through a display of objects tracing the linked histories of a nation and its National Museum and Art Gallery.
The title refers to the cultural diversity of Papua New Guinea as well as the development of the National Museum and Art Gallery which was established in the basement of PNG’s first House of Assembly in 1959.
The objects on displayed have never been exhibited before and includes objects collected by colonial era administrators such as William MacGregor, Hubert Murray, Donald Cleland and Allan Mann.
West New Britain
This exhibition is an archaeological exhibition from the West New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. It contains maps and photographs of archaeological items from the prehistoric to present period.