Charles F Goldie

Memories: Ena Te Papatahi, a Chieftainess of the Ngapuhi Tribe

Memories: Ena Te Papatahi, a Chieftainess of the Ngapuhi Tribe by Charles F Goldie

Artwork Detail

Seated amidst decaying architecture, dressed in velvet and draped in a blanket supplied by the artist, Ena Te Papatahi seems lost in memories of a past that has slipped away. For her descendants, this portrait functions as a powerful and meaningful connection to a beloved ancestor and the work is much loved in the Gallery's collection, almost permanently on display. Ina Te Papatahi lived close to Goldie's studio and was one of his favourite models. Contemporaries viewed Goldie's portraits of elderly Māori with moko as records of a dying art since the practice of moko was in decline. By the early twentieth century Māori population figures were growing and moko has now re-emerged as a form of cultural identifier. A number of his friends introduced Goldie to potential models, including barrister Robert McVeagh, who worked at the Māori Native Land Court in Auckland. Goldie's studio, draped with Persian rugs and crammed with paintings, palms, easy chairs and bric-à-brac, became an important meeting place for 'Māori enthusiasts'; a journalist described it as 'the most artistic studio south of the line'. Goldie maintained a gruelling painting schedule and exhibited new paintings every year until 1919. The Gallery's collection of his work comprises nineteen paintings including gifts from his patrons and their descendants and from the artist and his family. (from The Guide, 2001)

Memories: Ena Te Papatahi, a Chieftainess of the Ngapuhi Tribe
Charles F Goldie
Production date
oil on canvas
1270 x 1016 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Emily and Alfred Nathan, 1952
Accession no
Other ID
0/57 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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