The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand

September 9, 2017April 1, 2018

Come face to face with the leading Māori protagonists of nineteenth-century New Zealand in a series of arresting images by the country’s most prolific portrait painter, Gottfried Lindauer. These paintings, revered embodiments of Māori ancestors, capture the fascinating personal stories of his subjects as well as the complex intercultural exchanges occurring at a time of great political, cultural and social change.

Thirty-one compelling historic portraits of Māori rangatira (men and women of esteem and rank) are on view in The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand. Painted by a Bohemian-born immigrant artist who created the largest number of Māori portraits in existence, these finely detailed and powerful images pay tribute to the individuals who served their communities and the emerging country of New Zealand when colonial settlement was forging cross-cultural interactions between Māori—the indigenous people of New Zealand—and Pākehā, European settlers and their descendants. They document peacemakers and warriors, politicians and diplomats, tour guides and landholders, entrepreneurs and global traders painted between 1874 and 1903.


This exhibition is organized by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Auckland Art Gallery

With the support of the New Zealand Government through Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Cultural Diplomacy International Programme and Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry of Māori Development

Ministry for Culture & Heritage       Te Puni Kokiri

President’s Circle
Lisa Sardegna and David A. Carrillo

Curator’s Circle
The Donald L. Wyler Trust

Additional support is provided by Blossom Strong.