The view from the Duncan Homestead garden, Durie Hill, Whanganui

Violet Whiteman, Artist

This is one of the watercolours in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in circa 1940.
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Object Detail

About the Work
“The Duncan family garden on Blyth Street was an important contributor to Durie Hill's Garden Suburb character. The Duncan garden is long gone, and I'm thankful that in this work Violet captured a landscape which has now almost left living memory. The only aspect of this space that has survived in situ is a remnant of the fence seen in the centre of the work. I also like the glimpses of the industrial buildings in the distance, across the awa.”
- Scott Flutey for My Choice September 2021

“This painting is of the flower garden of the Duncan’s family home on Durie Hill, Wanganui across the Whanganui River from the town…the painting may well have been a commission or, more likely, a gift from the artist to her friends and patrons…A 1919 photograph held in the Alexander Turnbull Library shows the Duncan’s large house when it was new, with a wide circular drive at the front. Beyond the Whanganui River widens towards the sea below. To the right of the house are the path and gate as can be seen in Whiteman’s painting, though the magnificent flower garden has yet to be created. Whiteman’s view is across the river to the city, where the brown roof of the Royal Wanganui Opera House and the spire of St. Paul’s can be seen…”
- Johnstone, C, The Painted Garden in New Zealand Art 2008 p. 128
Image 265 x 340mm
Frame 512 x 575 x 40mm
watercolour on paper
Watercolour painting of a flower garden with tall hollyhocks and a brick paved path. At the centre of the garden is a bird bath with a black bird perched on the edge. At the far end of the garden is a fence and white gate. The garden is from the Duncan family home on Durie Hill. Beyond the garden the Whanganui River is visible with the roofs of buildings (including the Royal Whanganui Opera House, spire of St Paul's Church) visible on the far bank stretching into the distance.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of Mrs Pam Williams, 2008
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
09 Dec 2008



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