An unusual sunrise: Maori Art and Culture at the Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin – article of 2014

In this blogpost, I have summarized an article of the german “Tagesspiegel” of 19.11.2014, which was written by Nicola Kuhn about the exhibtion of the Maori paintings of Gottfried Lindauer.1

In the early hours of a grey November day, an extraordinary ceremony began at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Led by Patu Hohepa, a Maori kaumatua, an impressive press conference launched a spectacular exhibition.

The exhibition features portraits of Maori leaders by Gottfried Lindauer, a painter largely unknown in our art history. Originally from Pilsen in the Czech Republic, Lindauer emigrated to New Zealand in the 19th century and dedicated himself to portraying the indigenous people of what was then an endangered culture.

His detailed and respectful depictions of Maori culture have a vibrancy and dignity that is still impressive 150 years later. Lindauer’s respectful portrayal won the respect of the Maori, who commissioned him to paint portraits of themselves and their ancestors.

In the Alte Nationalgalerie, two worlds collide, a collision that encourages us to change our perspective and see the connection between cultures. The exhibition offers a new perspective on Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous culture and shows how interconnected our world is.

The exhibition also brings some of the artist’s spirit back to Europe. It is a moving moment that underlines both the importance of artistic heritage and the deep spiritual connection between Maori and their ancestors.

The Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin is hosting this exhibition as a tribute to Maori culture and as a memorial to an artist who captured this culture in his paintings. A fascinating glimpse into a world that inspires us to think differently and reminds us that art knows no boundaries.

  1. Maori-Portr├Ąts in der Alten Nationalgalerie, in: Tagesspiegel,, [Last Access: 11.12.2023] []
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search