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Lindauer portraits on show in San Francisco

Media release: 8 September 2017

The critically acclaimed exhibition of Lindauer portraits The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand will open at the de Young Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, tomorrow, 9 September 2017.

“Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is taking this exhibition of 31 Lindauer portraits to the de Young which, together with its sister museum the Legion of Honor, attracts 1.5 million visitors per annum,” Paul James, Chief Executive Manatū Taonga said.

Images of 'Pare Watene'' (1878) and 'Eruera Maihi Patuone' (1874) are courtesy of the Auckland Art Gallery.

“The invitation to take the exhibition to San Francisco is a tribute to the gallery and the Ministry is pleased the government could support this initiative through the Cultural Diplomacy International Programme (CDIP),” Paul James said.

“Winner of the International Council of Museums’ Czech Republic Prize for best national exhibition in 2015, the exhibition travelled to Berlin in 2014, Pilsen in 2015 and was here in Auckland until earlier this year with outstanding attendance numbers at each venue.”

Lindauer’s painted portraits of Māori leaders and chiefs from the late 19th century are nationally significant taonga with special significance to Māori descendants specifically and New Zealanders generally.

Opening night at the de Young Museum, image courtesy of Julie Koke.

Kapa haka group Māori Mo Ake Tonu from San Francisco, image courtesy of Julie Koke.

The connection to Māori culture as a living culture is reiterated and celebrated as part of the exhibition display with programmed floor talks and cultural protocols attached to the exhibition. Six members of Haerewa, Auckland Art Gallery’s Māori advisory group, have travelled with the exhibition to perform, oversee and observe these cultural protocols.

“With National American Indian Heritage Month running in November while the Lindauer paintings are in San Francisco this presents a unique opportunity to connect with First Nations people,” Paul James said.

Te Puni Kōkiri is also supporting the exhibition, and will be profiling a selection of portraits from the exhibition on their social media channels along with coverage of the opening weekend, guest talks and interviews. The exhibition runs until to 1 April 2018.

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Updated on 27th September 2017