Family Ties: Portraits of Chinese New Zealanders in the Berry & Co. Collection
Te Papa holds a collection of just over 90 portraits of Chinese New Zealanders, dating from 1900 to the 1940s. Can you help us identify the sitters?
The Berry & Co. collection features portraits of just over 90 Chinese New Zealanders dating from the early 1900s to the 1940s. The photographs were taken primarily by Berry & Co and Cuba Photography Studios, both of which operated from 147 Cuba Street in Wellington.
You can view the images at http://bit.ly/ChineseFamilyTies
The majority of portraits are of men. New Zealand's Chinese community was predominantly male until after the Second World War. In the early part of the 20th century immigrants from China had to pay £100 in poll tax to enter New Zealand. As such, many men could not afford to bring their wives and families. The group includes just a handful of portraits featuring women and children.
About 40 of the negatives feature an inscribed surname. Typically, the name refers to the person who paid for the sitting, and is often also the actual sitter. The majority of sitters probably lived within the Wellington region.
Can you help us?
We would like to identify these Chinese New Zealanders and to learn something about their lives in China and New Zealand, and to reconnect them with their descendants. Do you recognise any of the names or faces in this collection?
If so, any information you can offer about the sitters would be most appreciated. To aid identification, please be sure to include the Te Papa registration number (B.044366, for example) for the photo in question when you contact us.
Phone: 04 381 7139
Post: Family Ties, c/o Michael Fitzgerald, NZ History & Culture Team, Te Papa, PO Box 467, Wellington