Special Margaret Stoddart exhibition in Kate Sheppard’s house

Opening in Women’s Suffrage week, a special exhibition titled ‘Margaret Stoddart, Garden Scene’ is highlighting the connection between Canterbury artist Margaret Stoddart and famous suffragist Kate Sheppard.

Marking the anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Aotearoa New Zealand in September 1893, University of Canterbury art collections curator Lydia Baxendell has curated a special exhibition of watercolours by Margaret Stoddart, shown at the former home of her fellow student at the University’s School of Fine Arts.

Set in the blossoming garden of Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House, which nestles beside the leafy University campus in Ilam, ‘Margaret Stoddart, Garden Scene’ reveals a small yet important collection of Stoddart’s paintings from the University of Canterbury art collection.

Sheppard briefly attended Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury) School of Fine Arts as a day student. Her name appears written near Stoddart’s in the Canterbury College School of Art Register in 1882 and 1883. This rarely seen historic Roll Book will be displayed alongside the Stoddart watercolours.

The exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday 22 September, running until Sunday 12 December.  There is a programme of related talks and events during the exhibition, including the Christchurch Heritage Festival.

A collaboration between Te Puna Rakahau o Macmillan Brown Library and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the ‘Margaret Stoddart, Garden Scene’ exhibition is free however usual admission charges apply for Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House.

The historically significant house was purchased in September 2019 by the NZ Government and was officially opened in December 2020 by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. It is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

  • Exhibition Margaret Stoddart: Garden Scene, 22 Sep – 12 Dec 2021, 10am – 4pm, Wed–Sun (closed Mon-Tue), at Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House, 83 Clyde Road, Ilam, Christchurch. Free exhibition with admission to Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House: $15 or $7.50 unwaged/student available online here.

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