On arrival at Auckland Airport I oversaw the palletisation of the four pallets of crates in the Air New Zealand cargo sheds. The pallets were then loaded onto the aircraft.
After 29 hours travelling time, I finally arrival in Frankfurt where the crates were transferred to a Hasenkamp truck and we then spent eight hours travelling to Berlin. Thankfully it was a beautiful autumnal day for sightseeing. We arrived at the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, late in the evening, and the crates were moved into the exhibition space for 24 hours acclimatisation.
The Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Over the first two days we opened all the works on paper – photographic images of Māori and the Lindauer Visitors Book – and Ingeborg Fries, Paper Conservator, and myself condition checked the works to make sure they arrived in the same condition as they left New Zealand. And yes, they all arrived safely and in good condition!
The Technicians then secured the framed photographs to the vitrine panels and tested the positioning of the matted photographs within the vitrines, waiting for the Designer to finalise the layout.
The carte-de-visite photographic albums, and the Lindauer Visitors Book, were placed within glazed, locked vitrines, sitting on custom-made book supports.
We then started the process of opening the crates containing the Lindauer Māori portraits. One by one the works were condition checked by Sarah Hillary and Ina Hausmann, Paintings Conservator, prior to being installed by Lutz Bertram and his team of Technicians.
We worked with a wonderful team in Berlin, consisting of Conservators, Designers and Technicians, and the works looked amazing in such a beautiful building. Signage and banners were installed and we were ready for the dawn blessing of the exhibition Gottfried Lindauer: The Māori Portraits.
As dawn broke on that calm Tuesday morning, a large crowd of press and other dignitaries were welcomed to view the blessing of the exhibition by Haerewa (the Auckland Art Gallery’s Māori Advisory Group), supported by nine members of the Ngati Ranana Māori London Club.
So if you’re in Berlin over Christmas break, do visit the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin to see this wonderful exhibition, which is on display until 12 April 2015. The exhibition will then head to Masné Krámy Exhibition Hall, in Prague, Czech Republic from May to September 2015.
Members of Haerewa (Auckland Art Gallery's Māori Advisory Group), Ngati Ranana Māori London Club, Auckland Art Gallery Director and staff members, New Zealand Ambassador to Germany, descendants of the portrait sitters, and descendants of Gottfried Lindauer