Māori at Tuahiwi

Wednesday 29 March 2017

The He Waka Eke Noa exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery includes objects on loan from Canterbury Museum. The exhibition juxtaposes colonial era Māori portraits with objects linked to colonisation.

1944 78 242 Maoris at Kaipoi 1202

Māori at Tuahiwi, Dr A C Barker Collection 1944.78.242

Two of the Museum's Alfred Charles Barker glass plate negatives from the late nineteenth century feature both in their original form and as massive prints. One of these depicts 'Māori at Tuahiwi' ready for a procession to welcome HRH Prince Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh on 23 April 1869. The print faces out to a maquette of the statue of John Robert Godley and a view of the crowd at the unveiling of that very monument on 6 August 1867.

Also in the exhibition are examples of the Burton Brother's photographs from the Museum's collection. The Dunedin-based nineteenth century photographers sold images individually and also in a series of albums. Known for years as the Brassington albums (after the donor Alan Claudius Brassington, a University of Canterbury law lecturer and author of a book on runholder Samuel Butler), it is likely that Canterbury Museum is the only repository in New Zealand to hold all five albums produced by the Burton Brothers. For art historians, this is a pretty exciting thing indeed.