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Richard Sundt On Toko Toru Tapu Church

Richard Sundt On Toko Toru Tapu Church

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  • Thu 8 Sep ’16, 5:30pm – 6:30pm


Tairawhiti Museum, Stout St, Gisborne


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

This talk on 'The sculptural programme of Toko Toru Tapu and its relationship to the carvings of Manutūkē's earlier churches' will be given by visiting professor Richard Sundt at the Museum.

All welcome, light refreshments to follow the talk.

Richard Sundt is a retired professor of Art History at the University of Oregon (Eugene, USA), but he remains an active scholar. At Oregon, he taught ancient and medieval architecture, as well as the arts of Oceania.

In 1997 he taught for a semester at Victoria University of Wellington. During that period he became involved in researching Māori church architecture. This resulted in three articles in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, one dealing with issues surrounding the construction of Rangiātea at Ōtaki, and two on the mid-19th church at Manutūkē centered on the carved decoration, much of it now destroyed. These articles led eventually to a book on whare-style church building published by Auckland University Press in 2010 (Whare Karakia).

Throughout Richard’s research in Aotearoa New Zealand, his work has been facilitated both by Māori and Pākehā committed to preserving and celebrating historic Māori structures and their decoration. Richard wishes to thank the staff of the Tairāwhiti Museum for the enormous support he received during the course of his five visits to Gisborne (between 2000 and 2007) to consult the Museum’s archives and photographic collections.

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