Monday, 11 May 2009

Prints of Maori Portraits painted by Goldie, Lindauer - Should they be allowed by New Zealand Galleries?


Faced with the dwindling supply of prints of paintings by Charles Frederick Goldie we were talking in the office today about the problems publishers of prints are having with the publication of Maori portraits that are held in some major New Zealand public galleries.

For a long time paintings of Maori subjects have been reproduced as prints. Goldie himself did a handsigned print of "A Good Joke" in the 1920s (which now sell for around $1000 each on the rare occasion they come up at auction). However during a major Goldie exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery in 1997 some Gallery staff became nervous about the use of Goldie's Maori portraits (on a large calender) after they were questioned about their right to do so by at least one descendant. Since then the idea of seeking permission from descendants of a [Maori] portrait's subject before a painting is reproduced has taken hold at at least two major New Zealand public art galleries. We have heard the term "moral copyright" being used to describe this new idea that if a print is being made of a painting with people in it there is an obligation to trace descendants of the subjects to ask their permission.

Because we stock all Maori portraits available as prints we have descendants of Goldie (and Lindauer) subjects emailing or calling on at least a weekly basis who want to purchase prints of their ancestors that are not currently in print. Print publishers are facing a gallery policy that is inventing a new form of copyright that is not recognised outside of a couple of institutions in New Zealand. We would love to hear views from all sides of the debate about the publication of prints of Maori Portraits - please add your comment to the discussion below.

18 comments:

  1. Goldie's pictures make me feel sad because Goldie thought that Maori were dying out and I wouldn't want to use them as decoration as Im not Maori.

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  2. Hamish Keith writes in his autobiography "Native Wit" that he wouldn't cross the road to piss on a Goldie painting if it was on fire!

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  3. I think the Goldie portraits are beautiful and capture the beauty and character of the individuals painted regardless of their race.

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  4. How would Jessica like pictures of her grandparents being sold in gift stores to tourists? Goldie was exploiting Maori and people selling postcards and prints of the ancestors are perpetuating this. The portraits are taonga not tourist tat.

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  5. There was a company called Windsor Cards that were doing Goldie postcards which were distributed by Flag Souvenirs - does anybody know how to contact this company - Flag Souvenirs have lost contact with them? Please post a comment below or call me on 0800 800 278.

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    1. Hi - have a postcard "Wahine Montage" by Windsor Cards - the address on the back is Windsor Cards, PO BOX 34040, Christchurch. ...It may not be an active address post earthquake...but may be worth a try? Good Luck!

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  6. i came across a hand signed portrait of a good joke by goldie - how much is it worth?

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  7. I am a decendant of one of goldies paintings and im proud to have him paint my ancestor its nice to know how he looked and i think goldie does this well , I am honored to think people may like to buy a print of him .

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  8. HI There

    Could someone please let me know how you got premission to sale copies of my great great great grandfather Atama Paparangi, I come from the line from his daughter Neta my understanding was that his arrangements with goldie was he would stand for his portrait on the understanding that it was never to be sold for monetary gain.

    I would like to understand how this came about

    regards Monique

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  9. Charlotte Ferris12 July 2010 11:07

    With the thousands of thanks he does get for making it possible for relations to have a picture of their relation, there's always one who says something like Monique. If Douglas took comments like this to heart he'd stop what he's doing but he doesn't worry about it.

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  10. goldie painted a portrait of my great great great grandfather...now his portrait is being auctioned off by kiri te kanawa. it makes me sick how people can treat photos like that and make money off a picture of my ancestor. stupid stupid and stupid, and to my opinion, Goldie was stupid. he dressed them up and used props such as the pipe in the kuia' mouth. he also painted a Moko on my koroua, when apparently he did not have a moko.

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  11. Hi all

    If there are any descendants of Ahinata Te Rangituatini I would be very interested in getting in contact with you.

    leonie@liminal.co.nz

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  12. I have a signed Goldie print All 'e Same t'e Pakeha that I am interesting in selling - does anyone know where this can be sold?

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  13. @anonymous circa 1920s signed Goldie prints of this painting are very sought after by collectors. It is very unusual to have an unframed print in good condition - most are framed in the Goldie style with the broad black wooden frames [CF Goldie reputedly made his own frames in this manner]. The key to differentiating the first edition print from a modern reproduction is that it not one but two signatures on it. The second "CF Goldie" is in black ink on the right hand side of the picture. Although you would sell this picture quickly on TradeMe the best place to find buyers would be through listing it with one of New Zealand's fine art auction houses such as Auckland based International Art Centre, Webbs, Art & Object or Cordy's. Dunbar Sloanes in Wellington or Watsons in Christchurch are also good options if you are in either of these cities.

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  14. Im not too sure i f i have a goldie print or painting. its a A4 size, I have looked up on the internet for the paiting and i cannot find another like it. It is framed and on the back has the discription: Memories (oil 1912) "Wiripine Ninia" An Arawa Chieftainess.

    then on another piece of paper it say " this picture has been protected with a special spray and may be gently wiped with a damp cloth"

    Any info would be appericated.

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  15. Definitely a print, publisher unknown. Given the size it is possibly taken from Alistair Taylor's Goldie book.

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  16. If someone wanted to sell prints of my dead relatives, especially ones I didnt know, I couldnt care less to be perfectly honest.

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  17. I have 4 paintings of this artists, which are 3 males and 1 female, I wish i knew who they were as they are very detailed and beautiful paintings. I have thought about approaching a museum or the right person that collects these wonderful artifacts and offering these paintings at a price but im unsure. Anyone know or have any advice? my email is missbjacobs@yahoo.co.nz

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