Dr Greenwood's house in Motueka on right, 1852

Maker and role
Artist: Sarah Greenwood (b.1809, d.1899)
Production date
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Object Detail

Watercolour painting on two sheets of paper, mounted flat on card backing. The painting depicts the Greenwood land, house and outbuildings. A flax lined fence spans the width of the foreground. Receding back in to the middle-ground are fenced paddocks, most green, with two sections of brown fields on the right. Beyond the paddocks of brown are livestock, including horses and cattle. On the left in the middle-distance is a fenced brown paddock which appears to have been harvested, as there are small brown piles which have the appearance of hay. Behind the paddock is a small house and two other small dwellings. Moving the eyes over to the left is a cluster of structures. Information on the back of the painting describe “house on the other side. New dairy and store room. Scullery or workshop. Woodlands. Oats. Potatoes. New bedrooms. Stable. Barn. Cowhouse and calf shed. Stockyard in front. Oats". Beyond the farmhouses is a dense stand of trees, spanning the width of the picture. In the background are high rolling hills and a light coloured sky.

The painting is signed and dated "S.G. 1852"

A label at centre front lower edge reads 'GREENWOOD, Mrs Sarah. Dr GREENWOOD'S HOUSE on right IN MOTUEKA, 1852. Dr Bett noted that the house 'Woodlands' stands in the bush in what is now the middle of the town'.
Object type
Media/materials description
Part 1 Paper
Media and materials
Sheet = 211 h x 362 w Composition = 193 h x 350/354 w
Composition = Height x Width (mm) = 193 x 352mm
Sheet = Height x Width (mm) = 211 x 362mm
Houses Motueka
AC number
Credit line
Greenwood, Sarah (1809-1899). Dr Greenwood's house (on right), Motueka, 1852. Watercolour. Nelson Provincial Museum, Bett Loan Collection: AC333.

Collection type




This is indeed a painting of The Greenwoods first Motueka property (purchased unseen before leaving England in 1842 for NZ on "The Phoebe") After settling in Nelson for a few months they realised that the Nelson section that they had also purchased was too swampy for practical habitation and while Sarah remained in Nelson with the bulk of the family Dr Greenwood and two of his sons traveled to Motueka by boat to clear the land and set about building the "Woodlands" house. During the next months the trio lived in a tent in which the first Anglican church service in the district was held. Sara and the other children finally joined the working group at Motueka and set up home also in the tent This painting is often confused with others she painted of "The Grange" situated some four miles towards the Motueka river, a 50 acre property the family purchased in 1848 and on which the substantial "Grange" (1852 to 1863) stands today in Whakarewa St. The "Woodlands" House was burnt down sometime in the 1860,s It is said that the family did not mourn its passing as it was full of sad memories following the loss of some of their children earlier in an epidemic. The "Woodlands" Property is thought to be where Thorp St now is. This information comes from family documents sent to me by Greenwood decendants who reside in Hawkes Bay

- Martin Whittaker

Posted on 20-06-2019 02:01:44