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British High Commissioner Announces Clark Collection/Creative New Zealand Scholar

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
From left, Errol Clark, Justine Olsen and George Fergusson
From left, Errol Clark, Justine Olsen and George Fergusson

His Excellency George Fergusson, British High Commissioner, has named Justine Olsen as The Clark Collection/Creative New Zealand Scholar for 2010.

At a function for the NZ-UK Link Foundation, His Excellency said that he was delighted to announce the 2010 Scholar as the Scholarship supports the sharing of cultural links and expertise between our two countries.

The Clark Collection/Creative NZ Scholarship is the generous gift of Mr Errol Clark, a New Zealand financier, art connoisseur and heritage advocate.

His support of The Clark Collection/Creative NZ Scholarship provides an opportunity for New Zealand professionals in the built heritage and decorative arts field to expand their knowledge through attending the prestigious Attingham Trust Summer School in England.

The Scholarship also offers the recipients a number of short internships with organisations such as English Heritage, The National Trust, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Royal Collection.

Creative New Zealand provides significant additional support for the Scholarship, and return air travel to the UK is funded by the NZ-UK Link Foundation and British Airways.

The Scholarship is facilitated and administered by Museums Aotearoa. This collaborative partnership makes such a comprehensive study programme possible.

The Attingham Trust Summer School is an intensive programme for the study of historic country houses and their collections, based in three different centres throughout the United Kingdom.

The School offers a unique opportunity for participants to become acquainted with the history, architecture, contents and context of historic buildings and their gardens and estates.

It examines how they are managed and explores contemporary challenges for display, access, conservation and interpretation.

Attingham is regarded as the leading study opportunity of its type anywhere in the world. Each year, 48 people from around the world participate in the School.

Around thirty country houses are visited and renowned tutors lead discussions on heritage, conservation, interpretation and the decorative arts. For details of the Attingham Summer School see

Justine Olsen is Curator, Decorative Art (Contemporary), at Te Papa, where she is responsible for collection and exhibition development in her field. Her previous positions include decorative arts curator at Auckland Museum, researcher for NZ Historic Places Trust, and art advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Justine is excited at the opportunities The Clark Collection/Creative NZ Scholarship will provide to develop greater knowledge of decorative arts collections in museums and historic buildings in Britain, and to examine new ways of interpreting and promoting decorative arts collections. 'I am particularly looking forward to deepening my understanding of the complexities of the buildings, interiors and their social contexts, and their implications for interpretation to the public. I want to develop ideas beyond those that I have already considered, for example thinking about new strategies for presenting Te Papa's decorative arts collections on the internet', she says.

With the support of Mr Clark, Creative New Zealand, the NZ-UK Link Foundation and Museums Aotearoa, this Scholarship is advancing the body of expertise on the decorative arts and built heritage in this country. Now in its eighth year, previous Scholars are building on their Attingham experience, and making significant contributions in their fields. Recent recipients are Claire Regnault (2007), Concept Development Manager at TheNewDowse, Priscilla Pitts (2008), General Manager Heritage Destinations at NZ Historic Places Trust, and Josephine Hughes (2009), Design Team Leader at Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery. .

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