What to see
Ravenscar House Museum is home to artworks by some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most beloved artists. Here are a few highlights from the collection
Interior with Matisse, 1985
John Drawbridge (1930–2005)
Oil on Canvas
This painting was one of a series by John Drawbridge in which he paid tribute to the works of earlier, famous artists. In it, he recreates a piece from French modernist Henri Matisse's 1952 series Blue Nudes as though it were displayed in a domestic setting, with a bottle and glass on a table in the foreground. This is one of three works by Drawbridge in Jim and Susan’s collection.
Untitled (Blue ovoid vase), 2004
Garry Nash (1955–)
Susan's interest in glass was first sparked when her daughter Frances gave her a piece by Auckland artist Garry Nash. Nash was a pioneer of New Zealand studio glass, beginning his explorations in the medium in 1978 and taking over Sunbeam Glass in Auckland 10 years later. His works can be found in many public and private collections.
Taylor’s Mistake, 1948
Colin McCahon (1919–1987)
Oil on canvas
This work by one of New Zealand's most famous artists was one of Jim's favourites. Jim and Susan designed their bedroom at Scarborough so they would have this exact view from their window. The painting hung on Jim's side of the bed so he could see the view and McCahon's impression of it.
Ina Te Papatahi, 1902
Charles Goldie (1870–1947)
Oil on Canvas
Ina Te Papatahi (Te Ngahengahe, Ngāpuhi) was a niece of the prominent Ngāpuhi chiefs Eruera Maihi Patuone and Tāmati Waka Nene, both early signatories of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) in 1840.
Ina lived near artist Charles Goldie’s studio and was one of his favourite subjects. He painted at least seven portraits of her, with this being one of the earliest. It hung by the fireplace in the library of the original Ravenscar House.
Wine strainer, 1st century AD
Antiquities were one of Susan’s passions. Her interest in Classics stemmed from a childhood fascination with Homer, the Ancient Greek poet. Susan later pursued this interest by studying Latin at the University of Auckland. In amassing her own collection, Susan focused on Roman artefacts, especially everyday household items like this bronze wine strainer.
The Long Horizon, 1999
Paul Dibble (1943–)
The Ravenscar Trust Collection includes several works by acclaimed New Zealand sculptor Paul Dibble. The Long Horizon, an early but typical example of Dibble's geometric figure sculptures, sits at the front of Ravenscar House. The sculpture occupied a similar position outside the entrance to the original Ravenscar House at Scarborough. It was, and is again, a statement piece that gives visitors an enticing glimpse of the treasures inside.