Portrait of Lord Leverhulme

Frank Denton, Artist

This is one of the photographs in our collection. It was made in circa 1889-1930. The place where it was made is unknown.
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Object Detail

About the Work
“Again I have chosen to honour Frank Denton by including another of his photographs. The subject matter is of particular interest to me. Lord Leverhulme came to New Zealand during the construction of the Sarjeant Gallery which opened in 1919. He was on a mission to buy tallow for his soap company. During the six months or so in New Zealand he met Henry Sarjeant and he donated some very valuable artworks both to the Sarjeant Gallery and to the Auckland Art Gallery. You can view these beautiful works by searching the collection on the Sarjeant website (https://collection.sarjeant.org.nz/).

By the way Lord Leverhulme’s soap company made Sunlight Soap which later morphed in to the Unilever global brand. I have visited Port Sunlight just south of Liverpool where his manufacturing plant was located and all his staff were housed. The village is truly beautiful and pays tribute to his business ethics and kindness to those who surrounded him and helped create his empire. The 900 homes are lovely and surrounded by park like grounds, a huge lake with fountains, a Museum, two Schools, a hospital and shops selling essential items. The reason I visited was to view the Lady Lever Museum Art Gallery, built in honour of his wife who died too young. Like Henry Sarjeant he was a mason and like the Sarjeant Gallery the Lady Lever Gallery was built in the form of a Greek cross and constructed of stone. The difference is, this gallery has 2 domes and is somewhat larger. I think it is extraordinary that Lord Leverhulme came all this way to New Zealand, bought agricultural product to ship home and donated fabulous artwork for the future posterity of our public institutions. His legacy continues today and his substantial businesses, land holdings and collections of note are managed by his descendants. Whilst the Head Office of Unilever is no longer located at Port Sunlight, the company R&D activities still take place there.”
- Nicola Williams MNZM, Chairman of the Sarjeant Gallery Trust Board, for the July 2021 instalment of the My Choice exhibition series.
Frame 840 x 648mm
Image 460 x 338mm
black & white photograph
Black and white portrait of a clean shaven man wearing a suit jacket and a bow tie.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of the Leverhulme Family
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
Circa 1930



Accession Number:

Part of 1 highlight set