Archived: The Māori Portraits

Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand

The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand celebrates artist Gottfried Lindauer (1839 - 1926), New Zealand's pioneering and most prolific portrait painter and a key cultural figure in the country's art history.

Gottfried Lindauer, Eruera Maihi Patuone 1874, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915.
The exhibition will bring together an array of finely-detailed portraits of Māori rangatira (men and women of standing in their communities) in both traditional and western dress, portraits of colonial settlers, and large paintings depicting Māori life and customs. Lindauer travelled extensively throughout New Zealand, painting Māori chiefs and leaders. Works in The Māori Portraits are arranged by iwi (tribes), from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island. 

Gottfried Lindauer, Pare Watene 1878, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915
Living descendants of many of those depicted in the portraits will travel to the Gallery from around the country and will contribute to a lively programme of talks and discussions throughout the course of the exhibition. They will share stories of their ancestors and, where known, explain their ancestor's relationship to Lindauer. 

New ways to understand how this period of historic change, colonisation and bicultural contact was visually recorded are investigated in this exhibition, as the role of photography in the creation of Lindauer's portraits is explored.

Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says this will be the most significant exhibition of Māori portraits to ever be seen. 'It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this many Lindauer oil paintings together, which are an important part of Aotearoa New Zealand's story and identity' she says.

Gottfried Lindauer, Heeni Hirini and child, 1878, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 

The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand is on at Auckland Art Gallery from Saturday 22 October 2016 until Sunday 19 February 2017.

Contact details

Auckland Art Gallery
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
22 Oct 2016 to 19 Feb 2017