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Millions of people must be familiar by now with ‘Wellerman’, the song which went viral on TikTok in 2020. The Wellerman craze does not seem to have died down, so I thought I would share some marine art from where this 19th-century whaling song (no, it’s not a sea shanty) originated: New Zealand.

The following works, except the last one, are from the online collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. I trust that they will give the readers of Marine Café Blog an insight into the island country’s rich maritime heritage as well as its natural beauty.

N.Z.G. S.S. Hinemoa off the Kaikouras, NZ, 1911
Frank Barnes (New Zealander, 1859–1941)
Oil on particle board
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Kororareka Beach, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, c. 1856
Thomas Gardiner (New Zealander, British, c. 1810–c. 1850)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington Harbour, 1902
James Nairn (Scottish-born New Zealander, 1859–1904)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Evans Bay, 1893
James Nairn (Scottish-born New Zealander, 1859–1904)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Girl on the beach, 1900
Frances Hodgkins (New Zealander, 1869–1947)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Two versions of the ‘Wellerman’ song

Click on each image to play and download:

 

Rotomahana, c. 1895
John Philemon Backhouse (British-born New Zealander, 1845–1908)
Oil on shell
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Seascape, no date
William Marshall Cooper (New Zealander, 1833–1921)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Evening after rain, Auckland, 1911
Alfred Walsh (New Zealander, 1859—1916)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Seascape with boat, 1911
Alfred Walsh (New Zealander, 1859–1916)
Watercolour
Courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Sperm Whales Kaikoura NZ (photo taken in 2021)
Mural by B M Pettit / Photo courtesy of Bernard Spragg on Flickr

“Kia kaha is a Maori phrase used by the people of New Zealand as an affirmation, meaning stay strong. The town (Kaikoura) was hit with an earthquake of Magnitude: 7.8 in 2016.” — Bernard Spragg

~ Barista Uno

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