In 1889, botanical artist Sarah Featon and her surveyor husband, Edward Featon, published The Art Album of New Zealand Flora (Art Album). Forty of Sarah’s exquisite paintings of New Zealand’s native flowering plants were transformed into colour prints to accompany Edward’s lively and occasionally verbose text. Together, they sought to disprove the ‘mistaken notion that New Zealand is particularly destitute of native flowers’.
The book was the first full-colour art book published in New Zealand, and was praised as a ‘colonial work of art’. Firmly grounded in science, it also had popular appeal and shared mātauranga, Māori knowledge. Today, Sarah’s vibrant watercolours are celebrated as works of art in their own right.
In 1919, widowed and financially distressed, Sarah parted with her life’s work. She sold her collection of 134 watercolours of New Zealand’s flowering plants to the Dominion Museum, Te Papa’s predecessor, for only £150.
Sarah Featon gave these paintings the scientific names of flora used at the time, and in some cases te reo Māori names. Several of these names have changed as knowledge of New Zealand’s flora has evolved. This exhibition uses the current scientific names, and te reo Māori names where available.Close English text
I te tau 1889, ka whakaputaina ai te pukapuka ko The Art Album of New Zealand Flora (Art Album), nā Sarah Featon, he ringatoi mātai tipu, rāua ko tana hoa tāne a Edward Featon. He mea hoa haere ngā kōwaiwai waikano ātaahua whā tekau a Sarah o te puāwaitanga o ngā tipu o Aotearoa me ngā tuhinga pūkare, autaki anō a Edward. I kaha tonu rāua ki te whakaparau i ‘te hē o ngā whakaaro, arā, he whenua tipu māori-korekore a Aotearoa’.
Koia tēnei ko te pukapuka toi whai kano katoa tuatahi o Aotearoa, hua ake ana he whakaputanga hei aumihinga ki ‘tētahi mahinga toi rangatira nā te Pākehā’. He pūtaiao te tāmore he mātauranga Māori te aronga i aronui whānuitia. Ka whakanuia ngā kōwaiwai waikano ngangahau a Sarah i tēnei rā, he mahi rangatira.
I te tau 1919, ka pouaru a Sarah Featon, ka mamate i te kino o te pōharatanga, koia ka tukua āna kōwaiwai, he ngākau tērā. Ka hokona atu tana kohinga o ngā tānga waikano kotahi rau toru tekau mā whā o te puāwaitanga o ngā tipu o Aotearoa ki te Tōminiona, arā ko Te Papa i tēnei rā. £150 noa te utu.
Nā Sarah Featon ēnei kōwaiwai i tapaina ki te ingoa pūtaiao o ngā tipu o tērā wā, kua tapa ētahi ki te ingoa Māori. Ē hia nei ngā ingoa kua rerekē haere i te takanga o te wā, i te ngototanga haeretanga o te māramatanga ki ngā tipu o Aotearoa. Ko tā tēnei whakaaturanga he tuku i ngā ingoa o nāianei, reo pūtaiao mai, reo Māori mai i ngā wāhi ka taea.Close te reo Māori text