William Howard Holmes

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1825, d.1885

Lyttelton From The Water

  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1987
  • Ink
  • 480 x 320mm
  • 87/28
  • 1852
  • View on google maps

This is the port of Lyttelton in April 1852, less than 15 months after the arrival of the first four ships bringing the Canterbury settlers from Britain. William Holmes shows an already active and prosperous town, the local centre for shipping, commerce and farming. The schooner in the foreground would have been used to transport materials too heavy for packhorses using the Bridle Path. Lyttelton from the Water is a typical topographic landscape. Little is known of Holmes’ work, however his images of Lyttelton and Akaroa provide an important historical insight into the towns at the early stages of their development. Holmes arrived in Lyttelton in 1851. A qualified teacher of art and music, he was employed by the Canterbury Association to teach at the Collegiate Grammar School and he also held evening classes. In 1852 Holmes moved to Wellington. He held the position of Drawing Master at Abel Smith Street School from 1866 to 1867 and at Wellington College from 1875 to 1881.

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