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Showing posts from February, 2018

The hundred-year-old Papatoetoe Town Hall (part 2)

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On 27 February 2018 Papatoetoe will celebrate the centenary of one of its most iconic buildings, the Papatoetoe Town Hall. A centenary dinner will be held in the hall and stories and photographs from residents and community groups who have used the building over the years will be on display (contact jennya.clark@xtra.co.nz for details).

This is the second part of a history of the hall. Read about the early years in The hundred-year-old Papatoetoe Town Hall (part 1).
Papatoetoe Civic War Memorial The section where the library stood was an obvious site for development, and Papatoetoe Borough Council decided to develop a war memorial building there. The makeshift library building was thus removed and, during an impressive open-air ceremony held on 8 October 1955, the Papatoetoe Civic War Memorial was opened in its place. This was a dignified two-storey building housing a new and much expanded public library downstairs, and a meeting room or ‘concert chamber’ and new Borough Council offic…

Clifton Firth's portraiture

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Clifton Firth had a photographic studio in Queen Street, Auckland, from the end of the 1930s to the 1970s. His studio was a stamping ground for people interested in art, literature and politics and his portraits reflect this social group. Janis Fairburn notes, in her chapter on Clifton Firth in the book 'Fairburn and friends', that the heyday of Firth's studio was during the turbulent years of World War II when Auckland was "a small but lively intellectual melting pot."

Fairburn goes on to state "the studio was unique in doubling as an Auckland mecca of photography and a den of discussion for radical thinkers."

Over time Firth photographed many well-known New Zealand writers, artists, dancers, musicians, academics, historians, lawyers, politicians and architects.


Firth's portraits are recognisable for their dramatic use of light and shadow. Stylistically they are similar to Hollywood black-and-white still photography. There is an intensity, glamour …