A Different Light: First Photographs of Aotearoa

Witness the dawn of photography in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through precious, original photographs, explore its beginnings as an expensive luxury, through to becoming a part of everyday life.

NOW OPEN UNTIL SUN 1 SEP 2024
SAINSBURY HORROCKS GALLERY, LEVEL 2
FREE WITH MUSEUM ENTRY

Step into A Different Light: First Photographs of Aotearoa and explore the captivating evolution of photography in 19th-century New Zealand. Delve into the advances that took photography from its beginnings for an exclusive few in the mid-1800s, to being a part of daily life by the turn of the century.

Experience the 19th-century studio as you pose for your own digital Victorian portrait, and explore the wonder of this new technology that changed the way we see ourselves forever.

Featuring precious, original photographs from Auckland Museum, Hocken Collections, and Alexander Turnbull Library, this exhibition offers a unique glimpse into our visual heritage.


Studio portrait of a woman and child, 1870s.  William James Harding.  Reproduction from quarter-plate collodion silver glass negative.  Alexander Turnbull Library Collection: 1/4-007765-G. 

Two wāhine, circa 1887–1890. Harriet Cobb. Albumen silver print, carte de visite . Alexander Turnbull Library Collection: PA2-0529

Three men in hats, circa 1880s.  Unknown photographer.  Ferrotype. Hocken Collections: P1997-120-002. 

Cold Water Baths White Terrace, circa 1880s.  Charles Spencer. Cyanotype. Auckland Museum Collection: PH-ALB-208-p49-1.

A Different Light Book

Dive into A Different Light

Go beyond the exhibition to discover the histories of our nation as they were captured through the revolutionary technology of photography. 

Published by Auckland University Press to coincide with the exhibition, this stunning hard cover volume features long-form essays, accompanied by a gorgeous curation of images.

The book is available to purchase from the Museum Store.

VIEW IN STORE

This exhibition is a collaboration between Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum, Alexander Turnbull Library, and Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena.

Banner image: Picnic party at Thames, circa 1884.  John Martin Hawkins Lush.  Half-plate gelatin silver glass negative.  Auckland Museum Collection: PH-NEG-B4086.