Te Tarata, the White Terrace, Rotomahana, 1866

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Watercolour on paper
180 x 320mm

This is the fifteenth work from the Ferrier-Watson album of watercolours by John Kinder. The album originally comprised 32 works. It was handed down through Kinder’s family, eventually passing into the care of his great-grandson, Dr J. K. Ferrier-Watson of Te Awamutu. In 1969, Ferrier-Watson showed the album to the president of the Waikato Society of Arts, Rob Gardiner, who encouraged him to lend it to the Waikato Art Gallery (later Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato), then being operated by the Society, for safe-keeping and exhibition.

An exhibition was duly prepared by the director of the Gallery, Gordon H. Brown, and the album was disbound to facilitate display. In the course of his research, Brown noticed that several of the works were on sheets of paper watermarked with the date 1886. He deduced that the various captions on the works gave the dates the artist visited or sketched the locations, rather than the dates he produced the paintings. It is probable that all the watercolours from the album were painted about the same time, in or shortly after 1886.

The exhibition opened at the Gallery in 1970 and then toured for a period. The works remained on long-term loan for a number of years but were eventually recalled. In 2003, 30 of the watercolours were sold to the Fletcher Trust by Russell Catley, who likely acquired them from Ferrier-Watson (certainly, Catley was connected with Te Awamutu). They were immediately placed on long-term loan to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, where they were exhibited in 2004 as part of the landmark John Kinder’s New Zealand, curated by the late Ron Brownson.

For further information, see Michael Dunn, Lakes and Shores and Mountain Crags: The Ferrier-Watson Album of Watercolours by John Kinder (Auckland: Kinder House Society, 2007).