The most badass photograph ever taken in New Zealand
February 7, 2018 3:43 AM   Subscribe

Boxers, a hairdresser, a stuffed kiwi, an accordion player, a gun, a newspaper, a lute, and a stack of whiskey bottles. Charles Anderson discovers the story behind this portrait of a unique part of New Zealand history (The Spinoff)

The photo written about above comes from the Tyree Collection. In 2017, the Nelson Provincial Museum completed a years long digitisation process.

Browse and search the collection. Here are some photos to get you started. You could also try the search terms dog, cat, costume, fancy dress, and train.

More about the stories behind the Tyree Collection below:

Images from the Frontier (Gerard Hindmarsh, NZgeo)
Professional photographers whose work spanned nearly 50 years around the turn of the century, brothers William and Fred Tyree started what is now one of the most important pictorial archives in the country. The Tyree Collection is an extraordinary provincial insight into a colony struggling towards nationhood.
Tyree images priceless window to Nelson's past (Gerard Hindmarsh, Stuff)
Local treasures are often least appreciated by those who live around them.

So still largely is the case for our magnificent Tyree Studio photo collection, some 120,000 negatives – 11,250 being sheet film and the rest glass plates negatives - nearly all held in controlled conditions at the Nelson Provincial Museum Isel Park in Stoke.
posted by Start with Dessert (4 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Boxers, a hairdresser, a stuffed kiwi, an accordion player, a gun, a newspaper, a lute, and a stack of whiskey bottles

...and Mrs. Darcia Crump, preparing to take the longest walk of her life, into the heart of the Twilight Zone.
posted by acb at 4:02 AM on February 7, 2018

Any photo with a stuffed kiwi is already 49.3% leaning toward badass.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:19 AM on February 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

That is, indeed, a badass photo, and I appreciate the story behind it. I appreciate the ease, convenience and ubiquity of modern materials all the more after reading about how much work went into harvesting and preparing flax for rope.

9 pages into the digitized collection, and it's all portraits, which also make me appreciate the ease of modern photography. I particularly like this pair of young men, with and without hats. And I think Miss Salter has a pet muppet.

Bouncing back to Charles Anderson's article above the break, I have two more thoughts: first, today I learned of "larkinism," deriving from the Australian English term larrikin, meaning "a mischievous or frolicsome youth." And second, I don't share Anderson's sadness at the lack of mark on the landscape from prior industries, as I find some odd comfort when nature reclaims land and developments once modified by people. Yes, I am sad when past lives disappear, but nothing should last forever.

And a final tangent: I searched for that particular New Zealand Historic Places marker on Heritage New Zealand's database and map of recorded locations, but no luck, so I emailed the Registrar to possibly find out more. (And now I realize there might be more than one historic marker association, group or society in New Zealand.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on February 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’m pretty sure we’re being punked and this is a photo shoot for the Decemberists’ second album.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:46 AM on February 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

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