Wanganui Facade

Peter McIntyre, Artist

This is one of the watercolours in our collection. It was made in 1920-1955. The place where it was made is unknown.
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Object Detail

Image: H395 x W495mm
watercolour on paper
Wanganui is a town of architectural wonders and the Sarjeant Gallery itself is one of many stunning Wanganui buildings that would make any town or city in New Zealand proud. The uniqueness and fragility of Wanganui’s architectural heritage is at the forefront of everyone’s minds with the designation of many local buildings as ‘earthquake prone’, the Sarjeant Gallery among them. Peter McIntyre’s painting shows the Wanganui of the 1950s in a scene so familiar and yet so different to today. The recognisable façades are paired with long gone buildings, reminding us of the fluid nature of history as well as the physical links buildings create to the past. We walk past and through places which have been part of Wanganui for a century and yet the town never stays the same. The economic and technological growth of post-war New Zealand meant that small-towns changed rapidly. Paintings like this are tangible reminders of where we have come from as well as highlighting the ever evolving face of Wanganui.
Peter McIntyre was well known as the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force’s official war artist. Upon his return from WWII he settled in Wellington where he continued painting and began producing incredible popular books of his art. A traditional artist adept with oil and watercolours, McIntyre’s paintings reflect the aesthetic of ‘everyday’ New Zealand during the mid-twentieth century.
- Sarah McClintock, Chron article, May 2013
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1955.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
Jan 1955



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