William Menzies Gibb

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1859, d.1931

April Morning, Kaikoura

  • Gift of Mrs M S Hunter and Mrs R Bailey in memory of their parents, Mr and Mrs Frank Ellen, September 1964
  • Oil on canvas
  • 730 x 1040 x 65mm
  • 69/182
  • 1892
  • View on google maps

Kaikoura is about a two-hour drive north of Christchurch and these days is a popular destination for whale watching. In William Menzies Gibb’s time, however, it was the range of scenery that made the region popular with Canterbury artists. It has two mountain ranges, the Seaward and Inland Kaikouras, that are remarkably close to a spectacular coastline. Gibb has reproduced the landscape with faithful accuracy but with a romantic element that suggests that settlement and prosperity have now tamed the awe-inspiring forces of the natural world. Born in Innellan, Scotland, William Menzies was the son of the painter, John Gibb (1831 -1909). He studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne 1880-1881 but returned to Christchurch in 1882. He exhibited at the first Canterbury Society of Arts exhibition in 1881 and continued to be actively involved on the council of the Society throughout his career. However, he was also a member of Christchurch’s more progressive Palette Club, formed in 1890.