With the exhibition, Gottfried Lindauer. The Māori Portraits, the Nationalgalerie will, for the first time, present Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926), whose works are all but unknown outside of New Zealand, in the Alte Nationalgalerie.
It is the first time that the descendants of the personalities depicted have, together with Haerewa (Māori scholars and artists acting as consultants to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki), given permission for the pictures to be shown outside of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The pictures have never left New Zealand because, for the descendants of the personalities depicted, the memory of their ancestors is part of living and the former are always mindful of the bonds tying successive generations to their lineage, history and identity right up to today.
Gottfried Lindauer, born in 1839 in Pilsen (today in the Czech Republic), is one of the few painters of the late 19th century to devote himself in his work almost exclusively to depicting an indigenous people, the Māori of Aotearoa/New Zealand, in portraits and genre paintings. Gottfried Lindauer was trained at the Vienna Academy of Art. His teachers were Leopold Kuppelwieser, Josef von Führich and Carl Hemerlein. As the increasing popularity of photography began to jeopardise his chances of commissions in Pilsen, Lindauer decided to emigrate by taking ship from Hamburg.
He arrived in Wellington harbour in 1874, settled in the merchant city of Auckland, where he met his patron, the businessman, Henry Partridge, who wanted to record the Māori culture.
Lindauer died at a ripe old age in 1926 in Woodville.