Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history Poverty Bay - taonga maori
Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori

General Collection Items

Gisborne Photo News Collection

The Photo News was a local photographic news magazine, a monthly publication that was hugely popular from its first appearance on 1 June 1954.  A locally produced community magazine, it cost 2 shillings and its 56 pages were packed with photographs of the region’s people and events.

Its popularity continued for more than 20 years.  The final issue of 5 November 1975 cost 40c. and was 66 pages long.

In June 1993 another local group restarted the Photo News; costing $3.00 it consisted of 64 pages. Like its predecessor the first few issues were filled with black and white photos but by November 1993 all pictures were in colour.  It looked wonderful -but the price had to rise to $5.00.  In 1995 the publishers changed the format to a larger size with fewer pages. Sales did not keep pace with costs and the magazine was discontinued in 1996.

Tairawhiti Museum’s Research Centre holds a complete set of it, in which people of all ages delight in looking at.

Cameo brooch and earrings

We don’t know the exact circumstances in which William Douglas Lysnar or his wife acquired this cameo brooch and earrings. It is possible that they were purchased overseas. Such items were often bought as souvenirs of the Grand Tour, in which wealthy tourists experienced the sights and cultures of Europe.

The classical style of these cameos, the flowing drapery and exquisite delicacy of the carving suggest that the artist was deliberately making references to the heritage of European art.
Cameos themselves are an ancient form of relief carving, popular in ancient Greece and Rome.

We know these cameos were set in 18 carat gold and surrounded with (surprisingly) simulated pearls in the early 20th century. In keeping with the sentimental Edwardian age, the back of the brooch has a compartment in which a lock of hair can be kept – a keepsake of a loved one.

They are a wonderful example of the cultural treasures that the Lysnar family collected, and eventually gifted to the people of Tairawhiti. Such objects represent the wealth of European culture and heritage that Pakeha settlers valued and incorporated into their lives – whether in the form of beautiful objects, as in these cameos, or through literature, music and social groups.


The Waingaromia Meteorite
Click here to read about this discovery.

HopperDredge Wheel
Click here to read about this re-discovery.

Gisborne Photo News



Cameo brooch and earrings, currently on display within Watersheds