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    Otago MuseumOtago Museum Dunedin, New Zealand
    The Otago Museum of Dunedin, New Zealand was founded in 1868 and houses a magnificent collection of more than 2 million relics and specimens from the fields of ethnology and natural history next to the Otago University. The museum has continued to expand and change over the years, with a 2002 remodeling that would add a new exhibit area called Southern Land, Southern People that focuses on the history and prehistory of the Otago region, as well as the replenishment of the galleries that were dedicated to the cultures of Melanesia. Their Pacific Island collection is marvelous, with a premium ceramic collection and Australiasia's most important Classical collection. It contains a huge amount of natural history memorabilia, with outstanding materials that pertain to the nation's bird life and it includes the world's most inclusive collection of Moa remains. The museum has lecture theaters and an interactive children's exhibit center, research center and galleries that host traveling exhibitions. The entry way has a wonderful gift shop and cafeteria and would welcome over 472,600 visitors in 2008. Other galleries include; nature, animal attic, Tangata Whenua-People of the Land, maritime, Pacific cultures and people of the world.

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    OlvestonOlveston Dunedin, New Zealand
    Olveston is a large mansion in the inner suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand that was constructed between 1904 and 1907 for a rich merchant named David Theomin, who had come here from the village of Olveston, South Gloucestershire, England. David would marry Marie Michaelis of Melbourne and become related to the extended de Beer, Fels, Brasch and Hallenstein families of Dunedin, who were patrons of the arts and learning. Charles Brasch, a New Zealand poet and editor would say of David that "he was a jolly bouncy little man who liked a bit of swank perhaps but was kindly and quite without side". David's fortune would come from his import business of pianos that he would sell in the nation in a chain of shops called the Dresden, and eventually be called the Bristol Piano Company. He and his daughter would become patrons of the music and visual arts. The house was constructed in the Jacobean style using plans drawn up by London architect, Sir Ernest George, and fitted with all the newest conveniences that included a food mixer, elevator, internal telephone system, central heating and electric toaster among others, with 35 rooms and some 30,000 square feet of space. He had purchased the land in 1881, with an existing villa, and by 1901 had purchased the adjacent property, and then, in 1904, he would buy another, with their existing structures taken down. The structure is brick with Moeraki gravel, using Oamaru stone facings and roofed with Marseilles tiles. The Theomins would collect art, furniture and ceramics, with an outstanding Japanese collection with materials and works by Frances Hodgkins, Frank Brangwyn, W. M. Hodgkins and Alfred Henry O'Keefe. David's daughter, Dorothy would leave the estate to the city in 1966 and opened as a museum house the next year. With its architectural significance, collection and record, it showcases the life of the wealthy in Edwardian New Zealand during that period.

May 12, 2011