Object: Still life with arum lilies
This image has All Rights Reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
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||Still life with arum lilies|
Henderson, Louise (artist), circa 1950, Auckland
|Medium summary||oil on board|
|Materials||oil paint, particle board|
x 334mm (Width)
Frame: 692mm (Height) x 562mm (Width) x 56mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 1993 with Harold Beauchamp Collection funds|
Pioneer New Zealand art dealer Helen Hitchings, who opened her gallery in Wellington as a showcase for local art and design in 1948, was the original owner of this painting by Louise Henderson. Still life with arum lilies was exhibited at Hitchings’ gallery in 1950 as part of an exhibition of paintings by Auckland’s Thornhill Group. The group’s members — including the Tole brothers, WS Wallis, Alison Pickmere and Helen Brown — all shared a stylistic allegiance to the cubism of John Weeks, who was then widely regarded as the country’s leading modern painter. Hitchings later selected Still life with arum lilies for the exhibition Fifteen New Zealand painters, which she boldly took to London in 1952. Henderson was singled out for praise by one English critic, who wrote that she ‘has perhaps the most finished style of them all and a sensitive, intelligent brain behind her strokes’.1 Hitchings acquired Still life with arum lilies around this time, and it is prominently displayed in the portrait of her that Rita Angus painted in 1955–56.
Still life with arum lilies is characterised by a sinuous line, decorative patterning, elegantly muted colours, and a subtle arrangement of transparent and interlocking planes. These qualities can be seen to exemplify Weeks’s belief that ‘the ideal to work for is noble design, which implies mass arrangement, with rhythm, incorporated with fine colour orchestration and great draughtsmanship’.2 Henderson had met Weeks in 1948 when she was living in Wellington and, following her move to Auckland in 1950, studied with him at Elam School of Fine Arts. Mentor and confidant, Weeks encouraged the French-born Henderson to return to Paris in 1952 — she had arrived in Christchurch in 1925 with a New Zealand husband — where she was accepted as a pupil by the ageing cubist Jean Metzinger. This ushered in a new phase in Henderson’s long career, one that placed her alongside painters such as Colin McCahon and Milan Mrkusich at the very centre of Auckland’s burgeoning modernist art scene of the 1950s.
This essay appears in Art at Te Papa, (Te Papa Press, 2009)
1. Nigel Gosling, ‘Breezy comment on NZ paintings by London critic’, Dominion, 10 July 1952, p. 7.
2. John Weeks, ‘Ideas on art’, Year Book of the Arts in New Zealand, no. 3, 1947, p. 30.
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New Zealand
- Still Life with Fruit Dishes - Dunedin Public Art Gallery
- LIFE IN THE CITY. (Wairarapa Daily Times, 30 October 1906) - National Library of New Zealand
- LIFE IN THE CITY. (Wairarapa Daily Times, 10 November 1903) - National Library of New Zealand
- LIFE IN THE CITY. (Wairarapa Daily Times, 11 August 1903) - National Library of New Zealand
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.