Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Movers And Shakers at the NZ Portrait Gallery

Te Ru

Movers And Shakers at the NZ Portrait Gallery-Shed 11 Wellington Waterfront June 27 –Sept 8

A painter whose portraits of Maori preceded those of Goldie and Lindauer, is the focus of the new exhibition at the NZ Portrait Gallery from June 27.


William-Beetham-cover

Te Ru -Movers and Shakers features the work of 19th century painter William Beetham. Born in Yorkshire (1809) where his painting career started, he moved to London in 1836 to embark on a professional career with some notable success- he exhibited at London’s Royal Academy and was commissioned to paint a number of notable portraits of aristocrats and national leaders. His move to New Zealand in 1855 was motivated by his wish to settle his seven sons on the land. The eventual purchase of property in the Wairarapa was later developed by his sons as “Brancepeth”, though Beetham himself remained in the Hutt where he also farmed a small holding. Painting remained his private as well as his public passion. .

The first survey of Beetham’s work for over 40 years, the exhibition, c urated by Jane Vial, includes a number of portraits of Maori leaders which have been held by iwi and not previously seen publicly. His first commission to paint Maori came within a month of his arrival here, when Tamehana Te Rauparaha requested a posthumous portrait of his father. Subsequently a number of Maori asked for portraits including Wi Tako, the leading chief in Wellington of the time. Maori have noted Beetham’s accurate painting of the moko.

Some of the Maori sitters are pictured in formal European dress, others in their own chiefly regalia. Many of the younger chiefs had grown up among pakeha and adopted their dress and hairstyles. Beetham didn’t date or sign his portraits, and curator Jane Vial, a specialist in 19th century portraiture, is using personal details like hair style and costume, as well as historical reference to date them.

Beetham’s portraits were popular among Maori and pakeha alike, and his paintings of social groups, urban and rural leaders, children and family groups, shed fascinating light on social as well as political interactions of the day and offer a graphic account of the early settlement history of the wider Wellington region. Set during the fading days of the New Zealand Company and the early provincial era, the portraits set up dialogues between the movers and shakers of the day. The battle between the big pastoralists, represented by Dr Featherston and the Chiefs Wi Tako and Te Puni, and the smaller agriculturalists, is conveyed through those portraits commissioned in the lead up to the crucial 1858 Provincial election.

The exhibition also includes the huge 1858 portrait of Edward Jerningham Wakefield, commissioned by his supporters as ‘a lasting Memorial of that Gentleman's exertions in the favour of Radical Reform in the Provincial Government’.

It’s thought Beetham painted until the late 1860s, after which he turned to poetry and to establishing a more secure future for the arts in his adopted country.

Te Ru

MOVERS AND SHAKERS – the early portraits of William Beetham, curated by Jane Vial. NZ PORTRAIT GALLERY Shed 11 Wellington Waterfront

June 27 – Sept 8 10.30 – 4.30pm daily free admission

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Rio Olympics

Were you pretty excited earlier this week when Vietnam won its first ever Olympic gold medal? Hanoi, reportedly, went wild... Perhaps we should keep Vietnam’s golden moment in mind as we gear up for saturation media coverage of New Zealand’s medal achievements in Rio. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news