The Garden Party
1 December 2018 - 3 March 2019
Katherine Mansfield (b. 1888, d. 1923) is one of New Zealand’s best-loved writers. During March 1907, her mother, Mrs Annie Beauchamp, gave a garden party at the family home located at 75 Tinakori Road, Thorndon. Sadly, as Mansfield’s biographer Antony Alpers would later write, the day was marred by a fatal street accident of a poor neighbour. Against the backdrop of the lavish garden party, Mansfield explores the themes of class-consciousness, life and death, as well as the protagonist Laura’s awakening to the realisation that her life is a privileged one. Written in 1921, Mansfield’s short story, The Garden Party and Other Stories, was first published in 1922. The Garden Party exhibition includes botanical studies specific to the story’s flora, the now iconic Portrait of Katherine Mansfield by Anne Estelle Rice, and a selection of editions of The Garden Party book. Waikato Museum's exhibition coincides with the launch of the Mansfield Garden, located at the Hamilton Gardens on the banks of the magnificent Waikato River.
Image: Corona Personal Writing Machine, 1906-13, collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
Education programmes are available for this exhibition.