Rose Zeller

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1891, d.1975

Farm Buildings

  • c. 1913
  • Watercolour
  • Purchased 2020
  • 420 x 420 x 29mm
  • 2021/001

Rose Zeller’s parents were German-born watchmaker Hubert Zeller and Norfolk-born Sarah Eke, who married and left London for Christchurch in 1890. Zeller entered the Canterbury College School of Art in 1909 and was one of Robert Herdman-Smith’s leading students, winning scholarships and competitions, flying through her South Kensington exams and showing in the Canterbury Society of Arts’ annual Arts and Crafts exhibitions from 1912. Zeller was appointed student assistant in 1913, but left two years later to replace a Dunedin School of Art teacher who was overseas on war service. Herdman-Smith’s reference described her as “an excellent modeller, designer, and craftswoman, [with] a particular capacity for teaching”. After returning to Christchurch in 1920, Zeller taught at the Technical College.

This painting credibly matches one shown in the 1913 Arts and Crafts exhibition: ‘“The Sod House,’ by Miss R. Zeller, can hardly fail to attract attention, its unconventional handling and colour being exceedingly compelling.”

(The Moon and the Manor House, 12 November 2021 – 1 May 2022)

Exhibition History