Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hans and Martha Lachmann

A recent visit to Te Papa brought us back in touch with a few of the paintings gifted by Hans and Martha Lachmann to the national collection. The Lachmanns, like so many of the people who helped to create Wellington’s post war culture, came to New Zealand to escape Nazi persecution. They were deeply committed to music and art and for years there were very few exhibition openings in Wellington that did not have Martha and Hans attending. Although they were both physically small people, they exuded a big presence. These photos were taken in 1995 and as you can see, paintings covered most of the wall space at the Lachmann house. It is interesting how this kind of hanging is unacceptable in a public space but can be so evocative in a domestic context. The Lachmann’s collection was also the story of another Wellington cultural phenomenon, the Peter McLeavey gallery where many of the works in these images were purchased.