Portraits of Three Maori Girls

Iles Photography (Thames)
Production date
Photographs such as this framed set of three portraits of young Maori women taken in Thames were popular tourist items in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Documenting a romanticised version of Maori in traditional dress became an enormous commercial business during this period, with large numbers of these photographs being purchased here and in Europe.

Arthur James Iles (1870-1943) became well known for formulaic images of Maori taken in the early part of the 20th Century. He established a business in Fenton St, Rotorua in 1900 called ‘Iles Maoriland Souvenir House’ which specialised in selling photographs, postcards, Māori carvings and artefacts to visitors to the area. While based in Rotorua Iles' produced numerous photographs of the spa, sanatorium facilities and tourist sites which were probably commissioned by the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts. Iles was also based in the Coromandel township of Thames for a number of years operating as Iles Photography.
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Object detail

Production date
Sepia photographs
343 x 618 x 20mm (framed whole)
195 x 123mm (image)
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Credit line
Trust Waikato Art and Taonga Collection
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