New Zealand photographer Thomas Andrew lived in Sāmoa from 1891 to 1939 – a tumultuous time when Britain, the United States, and Germany wrestled for control over the country. Their political manoeuvrings coincided with, and sometimes inflamed, local power struggles.
This exhibition of Andrew’s work offers a unique window onto Samoan life around the turn of the 20th century. It represents a shift in focus from earlier exhibitions, which centred more on his technical skill and artistry.
Andrew is best known for his studio portraits, but he ventured well beyond that controlled environment. He captured political events, recorded daily life, and shot idyllic scenes for the tourist market, as this diverse portfolio reveals.