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<EM>Summer eve</EM> by Henry Edward Gaze

Curator Athol McCredie discusses what is hidden in this serene image

Summer eve by Henry Edward Gaze
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>This sunset scene suggests the honesty, romance &#8211; and above all &#8211; timelessness, of a life close to nature. A peasant woman pushes her boat across a waterway, presumably as her people have done for generations.</P> <P>Photographs like this present an alternative to city life, with all its stress and artificiality. They propose something which is idyllic, authentic and real.</P> <P>In fact, a close inspection of another shot by this photographer of the same scene reveals that the figure in the boat is not a peasant at all. It’s a woman wearing a city dress, stockings, and dress shoes.</P> <P>Such a creation of a fictional, idyllic past was typical of pictorialist work of the period. It was infused with nostalgia for an Arcadian time and place that was anywhere but the urban reality of most of its photographers.<BR></P>

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Summer eve

Henry Edward Gaze, Summer eve, 1929, toned black and white photograph, gelatin silver print,
Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds.
Full object info is available on