A painting of the man known as the “Father of Auckland”, Sir John Logan Campbell, has sold at auction for $505,000.
Produced by Louis John Steele, possibly in 1903, the work is a national treasure, International Art Centre director Richard Thomson says.
Last night’s auction was the painting’s first public appearance since it was completed.
Its whereabouts had been a mystery for the past 50 years until the owner offered it for sale through the art centre in Parnell.
Campbell’s many deeds included being a BNZ founding director and Auckland mayor, and he gifted Cornwall Park to the people of New Zealand.
A second painting at the auction by Charles Goldie of a Maori chief sold
for $530,000, well above the estimate, while a second Goldie was under negotiation.
Goldie is the most significant painter of Maori subjects in New Zealand art history. He studied under Steele, who had earlier arrived in Auckland in about 1886, aged 44, and began taking a great interest in painting portraits of Maori chiefs and elders. NZN