Object: Colonial Museum, Wellington
This image is No known copyright restriction.
To the best of Te Papa’s knowledge, under New Zealand law:
- there is no copyright or other intellectual property rights in this image in New Zealand; and
- it may be copied and otherwise re-used in New Zealand without copyright or other intellectual property right related restriction.
Te Papa will not be liable to you, on any legal basis (including negligence), for any loss or damage you suffer through your use of this material, except in those cases where the law does not allow us to exclude or limit our liability to you.
You may download and use Te Papa’s images of this work for non-commercial uses.
How to download the image
To download the image from this page, right-click on the image and choose “Save Picture as” (or the equivalent for your browser).
High resolution files and commercial uses
If you need a high resolution file or would like a license for commercial use, please follow the Buy or license link under each image to log your request (charges apply).
You must include the caption information and credit Te Papa as the image source when you use Te Papa’s images. Here are two examples of captioning and crediting Te Papa prefers:
- Railway Workshops - Petone, 1880 - 1889, New Zealand. Burton Brothers. Purchased 1998. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (O.009829)
- [Expedition party led by Quintin McKinnon], 1888, Dunedin. Frederick Muir, Muir & Moodie. Reproduced courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (C.001879)
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
|Title||Colonial Museum, Wellington|
O'Brien, George, 1865
x 916 (Length)
Support: 551 (Height) x 916 (Length)
|Credit line||Acquisition history unknown|
This watercolour shows the Colonial Museum, which was built in Wellington in 1865. Although it is signed in the lower right corner 'Mason Clayton, Architects, 24 1865', it is the work of Dunedin artist George O'Brien. he would have drawn it from the architects' plans. The delicate wash, here depicting clouds, is a technique characteristic of O'Brien's watercolours. The painting also shows off O'Brien's architectural and drafting training.
William Mason and W. H. Clayton had designed the New Zealand Exhibition buildings (1865). James Hector was the exhibition's Commissioner. The two architects designed the Italianate Colonial Museum building, which Hector was to oversee as part of his new job - Director of the Colonial Geological Survey.
The museum was partly prefabricated in Dunedin and then erected on the corner of Bowen and museum Streets (behind Parliament). It was not built to the original plans. The two-stories office in the front and the north and south wings, clearly visible in O'Brien's paintings, were omitted.
O'Brien was born in Ireland and arrived in New Zealand via Australia. He settled in Dunedin where worked as a surveyor and architect. He also exhibited watercolour landscapes, taught drawing and painting, and carried out a number of commissions for architectural perspectives.
O'Brien is best known for his town and landscapes. In some ways his commissioned architectural perspectives were related to these scenes, by showing the land 'idyllically settled by man'. The perspectives 'were more that just tools or advertisements' for the architects. They also expressed O'Brien's 'ideal of a New Zealand made beautiful by the efforts of men.'
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 25 million digital objects from over 140 content partners across New Zealand
- Colonial Museum, Wellington - MTG Hawke's Bay
- Colonial Museum interior, Museum Street, Thorndon, Wellington - Alexander Turnbull Library
- Letter to Sir George Grey - Auckland Libraries
- Colonial Museum - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.