COLOURS DELUXE celebrates the achievement of Sarah and Edward Featon of Gisborne, who in the 1880s undertook an ambitious project to describe and paint New Zealand’s flowering plants. Their work resulted in the publication of The Art Album of New Zealand Flora in 1889. This book was the first full colour art album printed and published in New Zealand.
The Featons arrived in Gisborne in 1875 and the couple worked from their modest home during their leisure time, with Sarah painting the watercolours and surveyor Edward writing the text for the book. They corresponded with eminent botanists of the time and procured over 300 botanical specimens from around New Zealand to work from.
In 1919, the Dominion Museum purchased the Featons’ collection of 134 watercolours. 20 of these watercolours, alongside other paintings, artefacts and archival material from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Auckland Museum, MTG Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti Museum, together with objects generously lent for the exhibition by the descendants of the Featons, will be displayed together for the first time.
A new illustrated history of their endeavours written by Jean Johnston accompanies the exhibition and is available for purchase at the museum and online.
Supported by The Deane Endowment Trust