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From left: Grace Rawson, Lorraine Sutton and Nola Mann work on colouring a large Whites Aviation photographic mural for H&J Smith’s department store in Gore, 1955.


Whites Aviation
4 August - 30 September 2018

In 1945 Leo White combined his love of photography and flying to establish Whites Aviation, a company that went on to change the way many New Zealanders saw the land in which they lived. Through publications, and most importantly, the hand-coloured photographs that hung in homes and businesses around the country, Whites Aviation helped to shape the look of postwar New Zealand. This exhibition, from the collection of the New Zealand Museum of the Everyday, explores the commercial success, technological innovation and photographic artistry of Whites Aviation, and considers its impact on the New Zealand home of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.


Whites Aviation photographs are not colour prints. They are black and white photographs that were individually hand-coloured by women who worked in the Whites Auckland studio. Included in the exhibition is a photograph from 1955 showing three of the colourists hand-colouring a large photographic mural for H & J Smith’s store in Gore. The photographic mural is still there today.

Toured by the Millenium Gallery, Blenheim.


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