Buller’s Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan Ngā manu a Buller

Over 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. A less expensive 1882 alternative, the Manual of the Birds of New Zealand, included wood engravings by artist and botanist John Buchanan.

The exhibition showcases print reproductions of illustrations from the rare first edition, as well as of drawings and engravings relating to the later publications.



North Island kokako, 1865–1885, New Zealand, by John Buchanan. Te Papa (1992-0035-2279/34)

Tour schedule and availability

Buller’s Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan is available as a touring exhibition now.

South Canterbury Museum, Timaru

5 Mar – 30 May 2021

Papakura Museum, Auckland

5 Dec 2020 – 28 Feb 2021

Motueka District Museum, Motueka

1 Aug – 29 Sep 2019

Nelson Provincial Museum, Nelson

18 May – 22 Jul 2019

Millennium Art Gallery, Blenheim

2 Feb – 17 Mar 2019

Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton

18 Feb – 2 Mar 2017

Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt

1 Aug – 13 Sep 2015

Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga

13 Jun – 19 Jul 2015

Planning to visit? Check the venue website for confirmed dates.

Hosting enquiries

Jake Yocum, Touring Exhibition Manager
Phone: +64 (0)4 381 7259
Email: touringexhibitions@tepapa.govt.nz