In 2001 Audrey Eagle was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to botanical art. Her dedication to New Zealand’s flora began in Hamilton when she became a draughtswoman for the State Hydro Electricity Department, and would join two friends on botanical excursions.
“I was fascinated by the richness and diversity of the dense and beautiful New Zealand bush - and somewhat shocked to discover how much I had to learn.”
In 1954 Audrey began to paint the specimens in an effort to memorise their names. William Collins Publishers made contact in 1968 to write and illustrate a book about native plants, and Audrey’s first book was published in 1975, after twenty-seven years' work.
Waikato Museum is fortunate to hold 59 of Audrey’s original botanical samples and you can explore them in more detail here: