May 07, 2015
Lindauer exhibition strengthens family ties
Descendants of the painter Gottfried Lindauer have been welcomed back to their ancestor’s home town as part of a major exhibition of his work.
The show at the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic includes 48 portraits of Maori from the Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa Collections, as well as works done before Lindauer emigrated to New Zealand and Maori taonga he sent back from here.
Auckland gallery Maori curator Ngahiraka Mason says there were three openings for the show, with the first taking on the rituals of the kawe mate or remembrance of the dead.
She says that was an opportunity for his remaining grandson Peter Lindauer and other family members.
"With Lindauer living and dying in Aotearoa the opportunities for them as adults to return and be introduced to their whanau in Pilsen were very narrow and as the portraits were coming it seemed to be timely and appropriate for this kaupapa to take on a kawe mate kaupapa," Ms Mason says.
She says there is a healthy curiosity in Pilsen in the painting and in Maori culture in general.