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Auckland Museum Applied Arts Collection of Printed Textiles
Printed Souvenirs

The Auckland Museum Applied Arts collection includes some examples of printed souvenirs. The three tea-towels produced by Rata Souvenirs (Tritex Holdings) feature New Zealand native species. They include 'New Zealand Ocean Life', 'New Zealand Bird Life' and 'New Zealand Rock Life.

The images come from one of the most significant source books available, A.W.B. Powell's classic "Native Animals of New Zealand". First published through the Auckland Museum in 1947, it became a fixture as a school text book and has gone through several editions. It is still in publication.

The four linen place mats with Maori-inspired designs are screenprinted. The images are inspired by carvings, rock paintings and kowhaiwhai patterns (painted designs from the inside of a Maori meeting house). The makers are unknown although they are similar in style to those printed by Blanche Wormald and Louise Tilsley in the 1940s and 1950s.

click on each image to view image galleries