Exhibition developed by Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre Upper Hutt and based on the Pumpkin Cottage Paintings Collection gifted by Ernest and Shirley Cosgrove.
Curated by Jane Vial and toured by Exhibition Services
An exceptional new touring exhibition opening soon at the art museum tells a unique story of the importance of a small rustic cottage at Silverstream, near Wellington to New Zealand’s first Impressionist painters.
Bohemians of the Brush: Pumpkin Cottage Impressionists is about the painter James Nairn and his colleagues who went against the mainstream and developed an indigenous, Impressionist style of painting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The exhibition features paintings, historic objects, a DVD and catalogue written by exhibition curator and art historian, Jane Vial, which relates how the group of artists developed a unique approach to Impressionism and the Bohemian lifestyle - with Pumpkin Cottage as their rural haven.
The Pumpkin Cottage paintings were donated to the Expressions Trust for the people of Upper Hutt in 2009 by collectors Ernest and Shirley Cosgrove, who collected them over a period of 30 years. “I recognized the Pumpkin Cottage painters as a group that did groundbreaking work that changed the face of New Zealand art. They weren’t being attended to and I didn’t want them lost,” says Ernest of his collection.
Some of the artists well known as Pumpkin Cottage artists were James Nairn, Mabel Hill, John Baillie, H.M. Gore, Maurice Crompton-Smith and Mary Tripe. Impressionists from Christchurch and Dunedinincluding Alfred Walsh, W.M. Gibb, John Madden, Frances Hodgkins and Girolamo Nerli were also inspired by the Pumpkin Cottage artists and movement and are also included in this sumptuous exhibition. Paintings are also on loan from Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu: Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki; Te Manawa Museums Trust; The NewDowse Lower Hutt and the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua Whanganui and well as the Cosgrove collection in the Expressions Trust and many private collectors.
Also showing concurrently with the exhibition will be The Illustrious Image – Portraiture from the Collection curated by Scott Pothan including the new gift from London by Susan Wilson Rahera Windsor QSM and works by Charles F. Goldie, Robert Procter, Kate Mair, Maud Sherwood, Adele Younghusband and many more.