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Although Brian Brake left New Zealand in 1954 and lived overseas for most of the next two decades, he always thought of himself as a New Zealander.

He began photographing the New Zealand landscape as a teenager, and returned to this theme in a 1960 photo essay on the land and its people. These photographs became New Zealand, gift of the sea, a best-selling book that struck a chord with New Zealanders looking for a more sophisticated vision of their country.

When Brake returned home permanently in 1976, he continued photographing the landscape but became equally known for his images of craft objects and taonga Maori – work that contributed to a growing interest in rethinking New Zealand’s collective heritage.


© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.