John Kinder

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1819, d.1903

Tarawera Mountain from the Landing Place near Rotomahana

The English watercolourist and photographer John Kinder arrived in Auckland in 1855, where he had been appointed master of the Church of England Grammar School. He was a traveller and made numerous sketching trips throughout the North Island including several visits to the Rotorua district. In 1866 he made the trip to Mount Tarawera just to the south west of Rotorua where he took photographs and made watercolour paintings such as this one. With its Pink and White Terraces, Tarawera was an extremely popular area for tourists and artists to visit; Te Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata were located on the shoreline of Lake Rotomahana until Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886 and the world-famous terraces were lost – either destroyed, submerged below the lake or buried in debris from the explosion. Their exact fate remains unknown, although many have since tried to determine what became of them.

(March 2018)

earlier labels about this work
  • John Kinder visited Lake Rotomahana in the summer of 1865-66. In the middle distance of this watercolour is the landing place for visitors to the famed Pink and White Terraces in the North Island’s thermal region. On 10 June 1886 Mt Tarawera erupted, destroying the Terraces and dramatically changing the surrounding landscape. Kinder developed an interest in topographical drawing when he was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. In most of his paintings he was concerned with making a record and he seldom invented or distorted views of the landscape. He made many summer excursions to various locations throughout New Zealand. Kinder was born in London and developed an interest in painting as a young man. He studied law at Trinity College and in 1848 was ordained an Anglican Minister. Kinder became Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School in 1855. In 1869 he was a founding member of the Society of Artists in Auckland and he exhibited in the Society's first exhibition in 1871. (Label date unknown)

  • The Reverend John Kinder was born in London and developed an interest in topographical drawing while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1855 he took up a post as a Master at the Church of England Grammar School, Auckland.

    For many years Kinder was a hobbyist artist, making summer excursions to sketch or use his camera. This watercolour is related to others that Kinder made as a result of a visit to Lake Rotomahana in the summer of 1865 -66. He stayed at the Mission Station of Te Mu near the village of Te Wairoa and explored the area nearby.

    In the middle distance the landing place on the lake for the famed Pink and White Terraces can be seen. Following the eruption of 10 June 1886 which destroyed the terraces, Mt Tarawera and the surrounding landscape was greatly changed. In his retirement Kinder re-worked many of his earlier watercolour studies. It is thought that this watercolour may date from that time. (Label date unknown)