Art historian and curator Jonathan Mané-Wheoki talks about Goldie's portraits of Maori. From the Canterbury Television programme City Life on the occasion of the 1998 exhibition of Goldie's works curated by Roger Blackley and toured by the Auckland Art Gallery.
Reproduced with the generous permission of Canterbury Television.
Related reading: Treasury: a generous legacy
Ina te Papatahi lived at the Waipapa Māori hostel in Mechanics Bay, Tāmakimakaurau / Auckland, not far from Charles Goldie’s Hobson Street studio. She sat for him many times, the first time in 1902. The niece of prominent Ngāpuhi rangatira (chiefs) Eruera Maihi Patuone and Tāmati Waka Nene, both signatories of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, she was well-connected and introduced Goldie to many other Māori who agreed to sit for him. Ina te Papatahi was later remembered by Goldie’s friend, the writer and historian James Cowan, for her “very likeable nature”, “keen sense of humour” and the “great interest [she took] in the painting of her portrait”.
(Te Wheke, 2020)
Recounting the untold stories behind some of the works in the exhibition Treasury: A Generous Legacy, curator Ken Hall also underlines the value of art philanthropy.
Stunning proof of the impact of generosity on the Christchurch collection.
The wisdom of crowds
In recent years, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing have become big news in the arts. By providing a funding model that enables would-be-investors to become involved in the production of new works, they have altered traditional models of patronage. Musicians, designers, dancers and visual artists are inviting the public to finance their projects via the internet. The public are also being asked to provide wealth in the form of cultural capital through crowdsourcing projects. The Gallery has been involved in two online crowdfunding ventures – a project with a public art focus around our 10th birthday celebrations, and the purchase of a major sculpture for the city. But, although these projects have been made possible by the internet, the concept behind the funding model is certainly not new. The rise of online crowdfunding platforms also raises important questions about the role of the state in the funding and generation of artwork, and the democratisation of tastemaking. How are models of supply and demand affected? Does the freedom from more traditional funding models allow greater innovation? Do 'serious' artists even ask for money? It's a big topic, and one that is undoubtedly shaping up in PhD theses around the world already. Bulletin asked a few commentators for their thoughts on the matter.
The East India Company man: Brigadier-General Alexander Walker
Getting to know people can take time. While preparing for a future exhibition of early portraits from the collection, I'm becoming acquainted with Alexander Walker, and finding him a rewarding subject. Painted in 1819 by the leading Scottish portraitist of his day, Sir Henry Raeburn, Walker's portrait is wrought with Raeburn's characteristic blend of painterly vigour and attentive care and conveys the impression of a well-captured likeness.