Edith Munnings

Aotearoa New Zealand / India, b.1867, d.1939

Fisherman’s Hut, Redcliffs

  • c. 1889
  • Oil on canvas
  • Presented by G E Munnings and C Munnings Christchurch, 1970
  • 480 x 680mm
  • 70/02
  • View on google maps

Te Rae Kura, on the edge of Te Ihutai / Avon-Heathcote Estuary, was a significant mahinga kai (food gathering) site for centuries for Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu peoples. When painted by Edith Munnings, it was known as Fisherman’s Flat and briefly as Watsonville before being renamed Redcliffs in 1898. Munnings was born in Ōtautahi / Christchurch to English immigrant parents. She captured this (already nostalgic) scene while at Canterbury College School of Art, where she studied from 1889–93.

(Te Wheke, 2020)

This obituary of Edith Munnings. whose married name was Edith Strutton, appeared in The Press on 23 June 1939:

Mrs Edith Strutton: An artist of great ability who gave up a promising career at the School of Art Canterbury College, to join an Indian Mission, died on April 24 1939 at Lonavea India. Mrs Strutton who was 72 years of age was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Joseph Munnings, pioneer settlers at Addington, Christchurch. She is survived by a brother and several sisters.

In 1900 she married the Reverend H Strutton and later joined an Australia Church of Christ Mission in Baramati. In 1917 Mr and Mrs Strutton took charge of the Criminal Tribes Settlement at Sholapur, and some years later they moved to Lonaula, where Mrs Strutton died.

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • I See Red, 5 December 2007 - 23 November 2008

    The Christchurch area known as Redcliffs, or Te Rae Kura, has been populated for at least 900 years. Kura is Māori for red, and Te Rae Kura means red, glowing headlands. The area was once an abundant source of shellfish, flatfish, eels, bird life and various types of flax, and supported large groups of Māori from the fourteenth century.

    Edith Munnings’ painting shows Redcliffs in the early days of European settlement. What else do you see here that is red?