Gottfried Lindauer (1839–1926). Pilsen Painter of the New Zealand Māori

06/05/2015 to 20/09/2015
exhibition hall Masné krámy
Aleš Filip, Roman Musil
Eva Reitspiesová, Petra Kočová

This exhibition is one of the main projects of Pilsen – European Capital of Culture 2015 and has been prepared in cooperation with the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

The very first retrospective of the artist presents his early European works alongside his famous portraits of major figures in Māori history.

Until recently, Gottfried Lindauer has been known in the Czech lands only to a narrow group of experts on the 19th century painting, and possibly ethnologists, thanks to a collection of objects from New Zealand in the Náprstek Museum in Prague which includes his portraits of a Maori chieftain and a Maori woman and a number of objects related to the Maori way of life donated by Gottfried Lindauer to the museum, as well as part of his correspondence.

The exhibition and accompanying publication at the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen is intended to introduce individual stages of Lindauer’s work: the artist was originally educated at the Academy of Arts in Vienna as a painter of religious history paintings and later he earned his living as a painter of burgher portraits. After he immigrated to New Zealand in 1874 he built up an abundant clientele of his supporters, not only among the colonial British people but among chief representatives of individual Maori tribes as well. Nowadays it is especially this collection of portraits of outstanding Maori chieftains which is primarily esteemed – not only as a fine example of Lindauer’s artistic skill, but even more for the sake of the depicted personalities who were shaping the modern history of New Zealand and who are especially precious to the Maori nation as their distinguished ancestors.

Although in New Zealand a considerable publishing attention has been devoted to Gottfried Lindauer so far, not even there his comprehensive monograph has been published. Many aspects of his work have not been systematically reflected yet. The aim of the Lindauer exhibition and publication in the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen  is to remedy this shortcoming. Lindauer’s work has never been presented in a monographic form which would introduce both his European and New Zealand chapters of his work side by side.

The reflection on the work of Gottfried Lindauer requires an extension from the standard art history discipline to the theory of visual culture, from ethnology to postcolonial discourse and from documentary function of painting to its broader spiritual meanings.

The exhibition and publication are realized within the programme of Pilsen – the European Capital of Culture 2015, which is supported by the European Union as one of its major cultural events. In the frame of the project, Gottfried Lindauer has been elected one of the four icons of Pilsen that significantly represent the city in which they were born.


Performance of Māori group Ngāti Rānana
5 May at 3:30 p.m., location: main square of the city (náměstí Republiky), Meeting Point kiosk of  Pilsen 2015 company
Māori culture will be introduced by traditional songs and dances, including the war dance haka.

Gallery Talk with Māori Representatives
6 May at 5 p.m., Masné krámy exhibition hall
The first guided tour of the exhibition will be led by our very precious guests, Māori representatives of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand: Elisabeth Ellis (Chair of Haerewa), Patu Hohepa (Elder of Haerewa), Ngahiraka Mason (Curator of Māori Art).The tour will be held in English language. Space is limited, please make your reservation at

Guided tours in English: 12 July and 23 August at 5 p.m.

Guided tours in German: 14 July and 9 August at 5 p.m.

Reservations for group tours:
Lenka Kolářová, +420 377 908 523,

The exhibition is held under the auspices of Rodney Harris, the Ambassador of New Zealand, Daniel Herman, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, Václav Šlajs, the Governor of Pilsen Region and Martin Zrzavecký, the Mayor of Pilsen.

The exhibition has been prepared in cooperation with the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and with the financial support of the Pilsen 2015 company, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Pilsen Region, the City of Pilsen, and The Foundation of 700 Years of the City of Pilsen.

Team of authors
Authors of the exhibition and the accompanying publication: Roman Musil (The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen) and Aleš Filip (Masaryk University in Brno)
Curator of the exhibition: Eva Reitspiesová, in cooperation with Petra Kočová
Architect of the exhibition: Zbyněk Baladrán


A comprehensive book is published in conjunction with the exhibition, in English and Czech editions, with full-sided illustrations of all of the portraits and extensive details on theri subjects. Designed by Robert V. Novák, the book has 279 pages and 239 illustrations.

Edited by Roman Musil and Aleš Filip

Texts by:
Leonard Bell (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Aleš Filip (Masaryk university in Brno)
Lada Hubatová-Vacková (Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague)
Milan Kreuzzieger (Centre of Global Studies in Prague)
Ngahiraka Mason (Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand)
Roman Musil (The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen)

Price at the gallery: 950 CZK

Available at the gallery and in the gallery e-shop.

Loaning institutions
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague
West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen
Roman Catholic Parish Valašské Klobouky
private collection, Prague

Open daily except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesday and Saturday until 8 p.m.