Russell Museum is pleased to have added another painting to its collection of work by Russell artist Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury. It was donated by John Gandy who had an art gallery in Russell in the 1990s. Pauline and her parents lived next door to John’s mother in Auckland. The painting features a pewter jug that belonged to John’s mother.
Pauline, born in 1928, was the daughter of Valentine Blomfield of Russell and Waiatua Ihaia of Matauri Bay. She attended Elam School of Art as both pupil and teacher; there she met her husband James (Jim). In 1951 they came to Russell to live, doing house painting, murals and sign writing until they were able to open a gallery on the corner of York and Chapel streets. Later they had a small gallery next to their cottage in Matauwhi Bay. Wood panels of Maori legendary figures were an important part of their work, designed by Pauline and incised and coloured by Jim. In 1976 came the publication of Pauline’s book The Children of Rangi and Papa with illustrations and text telling the Maori story of creation. This was republished by Russell Museum in 2006.Sadly Pauline died in 1977 so is relatively unknown compared with other Maori artists of the 1950s and 60s.