William's Legacy: The Beetham Portraits


William Beetham established a career as a professional portrait artist in England, but, anxious about prospects for his children, he emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1855. The following year he founded what became one of New Zealand’s most extensive pastoral stations – Brancepeth, in the Wairarapa.

William Beetham was the first professional portrait artist in New Zealand decades before Gottfried Lindauer and Charles Goldie. The exhibition showcases selected portraits from the Beetham family. Most of these portraits are still owned by descendants of William and Mary Beetham.