Acquisition highlights for 2009 include work from New Zealand's 2009 Venice Biennale artists Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard. Millar's OO89SC and Untitled were acquired ahead of production of the Biennale work Giraffe, bottle, gun, as works that helped broaden Te Papa's represention of her practice to date. The three parts of Giraffe, bottle, gun are an exploration of scale, consisting of ten-fold digital enlargements, printed on vinyl, of Millar's paintings.
Francis Upritchard is an internationally recognised New Zealand artist. She presented three sculptural works at the Biennale collectively titled Save yourself, and Te Papa purchased the eight-part one titled Dancers from this project.
A large volume of New Zealand pictorialist, studio portraiture, international photojournalism, and historical documentary photographs were acquired as one lot. The pictorialist photographs comprised the bulk of the acquisition and significantly boosted Te Papa's holding of this form of early-mid 20th century photography. Photographers included Len Casbolt, Harry Moult, HE Gaze, and Thelma Kent.
Other notable acquisitions include Marti Friedlander's 'Moko suite' of photographs; 12 pieces of jewellery from 1984 to 2007 by Warwick Freeman; recent ceramics by John Parker and a 107 piece ceramic installation by Martin Poppelwell; and paintings Construction no. 4 (1980) by Geoff Thornley and Gold landscape (1969) by Michael Smither.