Crawford Street and Thomson & Company photographs

Thursday, May 20th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

These images show the intersection of Crawford and Police streets, Dunedin, with the Otago Harbour and Andersons Bay beyond.

The first photograph was taken not long after 1876, when the three-storyed building on the corner was built for the well-known cordial and fizzy drink manufacturers Thomson & Company. This impressive building was designed by local architects Mason & Wales, and it even featured a lion lounging on top of the pediment. Crawford Street follows the waterline from the left to the right of the image.

Extensive reclamation carried out from 1879 is very apparent in the second photograph, which was taken c.1905-1910. Thomson’s premises still dominate and a large sign on the side of the building boasts of the company’s awards at the St Louis World’s Fair of 1904. The small building next door appears to be the same one visible in the earlier image. It has a new facade and is occupied by the builder George Simpson. The building at the far left was built in 1897 for the auctioneers Maclean & Co. Here it seen as the premises of A. Steven & Co., ‘manufacturers of the famous Victor flour’, who took over the building in 1902. At the centre is the large wool and grain store built in 1892 for Stronach Morris & Co. Behind this is the store of the National Mortgage and Agency Company (NMA), and further back some long railway sheds can be seen.

None of the buildings or businesses visible in these photographs survives. The site of Thomson’s building is now occupied by Brown’s Avanti Plus cycle shop.

The original photographs are in the papers of J.T. Paul, MS-0982/597. They are on identical mounts from Exchange Court Studios, Dunedin.

Blog post contributed by David Murray, Assistant Archivist.

Two new exhibitions at the Hocken Gallery

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Two new exhibitions have just been installed at the Hocken Gallery. The touring exhibition ‘The Labour of Herakles’, a show of 8 etchings and 12 lithographs by Christchurch-based printmaker Marian Maguire, will tour for a further two years after it finishes here on 17 July. In this series of works Maguire casts the Greek hero Herakles as a pioneer in New Zealand’s nineteeth century landscape. Appropriating well known pictorial imagery has long been a feature of Maguire’s practice. Here is a photograph of Artcrew installing the Maguire show.

The accompanying exhibition ‘Forever After’, drawn mainly from the Hocken’s collections compliments the touring show by exploring the work of artists who have copied, adapted and re-purposed historical art. This image shows me (the Hocken’s Curator of Pictorial Collections) brushing dust that has gathered in the drapery folds of a Brucciani cast, after the famous Greek statue Venus de Milo. The copying of such sculptures provided the basis of drawing classes at art schools in New Zealand from the late nineteenth, through to the early decades of the twentieth century. The exhibition includes a Greek amphora from the Otago Museum dating to c. 550BC, a fabulous copy of Nathaniel Dance’s 1776 portrait of Captain James Cook, a sampling of Joseph Banks’ Florilegium series and two contemporary portraits by 2008 Frances Hodgkins Fellow, Heather Straka. Straka’s paintings are based on an eighteenth century drawing by Augustus de Sainson of Nataii, a Maori chief from Bream Bay.