Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa
Plan your visit
Whakaritea tō toronga
Ngā kaupapa motuhake
He haerenga ārahi
Venues | Tākina Events
Discover the collections
Tūhuratia ngā kohinga
Read, watch, play
Kōrero, mātaki, purei
Kids and families
Mā te whānau
Mā te pouako
For museums and galleries
Mō ngā muhiama me ngā whare toi
Guides to caring for objects
Tiaki Kohinga, Tiaki Taonga
Mō Te Papa
What we do
Ā mātou mahi
Ngā kohinga taonga
Ko ō mātou whare
Ngā whakaaturanga poi haere
Ngā whakaaturanga o mua
Te Papa Press
Press and media
Media sales and licensing
Te hohoko papāho me te manatā
Support & Join
Tautokotia, kuhu mai
Friends of Te Papa: Our membership programme
Ngā Hoa o Te Papa: Te hōtaka mema
Donate to Te Papa
Koha ki Te Papa
Open every day 10am-6pm
(except Christmas Day)
Free entry for everyone
Charges apply to some short-term exhibitions and activities
12 June 2015
A Te Papa art exhibition showcasing the illustrations from New Zealand’s most famous book on native birds, opens at the Tauranga Art Gallery tomorrow. The six week exhibition Buller’s Birds:The art of Keulemans and Buchanandisplays illustrations used in Walter Buller’s iconic 1873 book, A History of New Zealand Birds and its smaller spin-off, Manual of the Birds of New Zealand.
The exhibition includes original hand-coloured lithographs by London-based renowned natural illustrator Johannes Keulemans, as well as engravings and drawings by New Zealander John Buchanan.
“We are delighted to bring these beautiful illustrations from Te Papa to the Bay of Plenty,” Tauranga Art Gallery’s Media and Marketing coordinator Martine Rolls says.
The touring exhibition is part of Te Papa’s broader programme to work with regional museums and galleries and showcase more of the national art collection more often.
“We work hard to ensure all New Zealanders, regardless of where they live, can see our national treasures,” Te Papa’s Chief Executive Rick Ellis says.
Te Papa Art Curator Dr Rebecca Rice says the illustrations are accompanied by examples of Buller’s publications, along with specimens of the illustrated birds.
“Given how wonderfully clear and true to life the illustrations are, it’s incredible to think Keulemans and Buchanan most often worked from bird skins, rather than observations in the wild,” Dr Rice says.
The exhibition runs until 19 July 2015.
Rebecca Edwards, Te Papa04 381 7071
Martine Rolls, Tauranga Art Gallery021 492 040
A selection of high resolution images are available from Collections Online. Please note that the conditions of using images are:
Single use only
Not to be kept on file
No cropping, manipulating or over printing
Full credit to be included with images.
Johannes G Keulemans, ‘Stitchbird, Pogonornis cincta (male and female)’, 1873. Hand coloured lithograph from A History of the Birds of New Zealand, 1st edition. Te Papa (1992-0035-1094/2)
Johannes G Keulemans, ‘Ruru, morepork, Spiloglaux Novae Zealandiae, and whekau, laughing owl Sceloglaux albifacies’ 1873. Hand coloured lithograph from A History of the Birds of New Zealand, 1st edition. Te Papa (1992-0035-1093/3)
Eudyptula minor (Little penguin). Crested penguin. Formerly Blue penguin. Crested penguin., 1865 -1882, by John Buchanan. Te Papa (1992-0035-2279/59)
More than 140 years ago, two men created what remains New Zealand’s most famous book on native birds.
A History of the Birds of New Zealand combined the passion and knowledge of ornithologist Walter Buller with the talents of artist J G Keulemans. The first edition, of 1872–73, attracted subscriptions from luminaries like Charles Darwin, and a second edition was published in 1888. The book was known colloquially asBuller’s Birds.
A cheaper 1882 alternative, the Manual of the Birds of New Zealand, included wood engravings by New Zealand artist and botanist John Buchanan.
Buller worked with both artists to ensure the illustrations were true to life; sending field notes and detailed comments on early sketches.