John Kinder

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

Keri Keri Falls

  • 1858
  • Watercolour wash
  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1984
  • 160 x 230mm
  • 84/25
  • View on google maps

The 20 metre high Rainbow Falls are a few kilometres from Keri Keri, in the Bay of Islands. A keen amateur watercolourist and photographer, John Kinder visited the area in 1858. Keri Keri Falls was taken from one of his sketchbooks in 1984. Very little of the wildness of the New Zealand landscape comes out in Kinder’s work as, like most 19th century landscape artists, he tended to emphasise the lyrical and rhythmic qualities of the forms, seeing these as suitable as subjects for a work of art. Kinder was born in London and developed an interest in painting as a young man. He studied law at Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1848 was ordained an Anglican Minister. Kinder became Headmaster of the Church of England Grammar School in Auckland in 1855. He subsequently travelled widely throughout New Zealand. In 1870 Kinder was a founding member of the Society of Artists in Auckland and he exhibited in the Society’s first exhibition in 1871.

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • For many years John Kinder, who was a master at the Church of England Grammar School in Auckland, was an amateur artist. He had developed an interest in drawing landscape forms while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge and once in New Zealand would make summer holiday excursions to sketch and photograph landscape features.

    Keri Keri Falls is clearly one of these. Kinder had only been in New Zealand for four years when this watercolour was completed. In 1858 he made a tour of Northland that included visits to Whangaroa Harbour, Hokianga and Keri Keri. At Keri Keri he sketched the settlement and the 20 metre Rainbow Falls which were about 4kms away. They were a favourite subject for a number of early artists and here you can see how Kinder has chosen a fairly high viewpoint and concentrated on capturing an accurate record with topographical exactness.

    Keri Keri Falls was taken, in 1984, from one of Kinder's sketchbooks or albums of drawings and watercolour studies. The sketches were probably intended to be completed or further developed in the studio at some later date.

    (Label date unknown)