Timeline

Material from the exhibition Women in New Zealand Society 1884 – 1958, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, 17 May – 21 July 1985, was most kindly made available to me in 2021 by Laura Jamieson, Senior Advisor, Archives, Hutt City, New Zealand.

I would like to acknowledge and thank researchers, Tony Cairns, Nicky Clayton, Rosalind Coote and Robert Hancock, whose time-line for this exhibition, which marked the end of the International Decade for Women, 1975 – 1985, was an invaluable resource.

A comprehensive time-line of political, social and artistic events 1920 – 1940 may be found in New Zealand Painting 1920 – 1940: Adaptation and Nationalism by Gordon H. Brown (Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, Wellington, 1975, pp 74 – 76).

– B. de Lange, 2021

Life

1824

Political & Social

Birth of Charles Hastings Stuart Snow, Langton Lodge, Dorset, England (Flora Scales’s grandfather)

1825

Birth of Helen Clara Piers, England (Flora Scales’s grandmother)

1847

Birth of Katherine (Kate) Wilson Sheppard (nee Malcolm), Liverpool, England,10 March

1848

Birth of Alfred St George Hamersley, Great Haseley, England, 8 October

1850

Marriage of Charles Hastings Stuart Snow and Helen Clara Piers, Preston, Weymouth, Dorset, England, 25 June

1857

Birth of Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Dublin, Ireland, 18 November

1858

Birth of George Herbert Scales, England, 11 September (Flora Scales’s father)

1859

Birth of Gertrude Maynard Snow, England, 5 August (Flora Scales’s mother)

Birth of James Nairn, England, 18 November

1860

Charles Hastings and Helen Clara Snow emigrate to New Zealand following the price failure of cotton in England. They travel on the Lord Burleigh with children Rochfort (b.10 August, 1851), Isabella Maud (b.29 April, 1853), Ernest Hastings (b.26 September, 1855) and Gertrude Maynard. They settle at Langton Lodge, Aurora Terrace, Wellington.

1861

Birth of Dorothy Kate Richmond, Auckland, New Zealand

1863

Birth of Charles D’Oyly Snow, New Zealand (Gertrude Snow’s brother)

London Underground begins operation, England, 10 January

1866

Birth of Daines Barrington Snow, New Zealand (Gertrude Snow’s brother)

Birth of Roger Eliot Fry, London, England, 14 December

1869

Birth of Frances Mary Hodgkins, Dunedin, New Zealand, 28 April

1874

First Impressionist Exhibition, 35 boulevard des Capucins, Paris, France. Includes work by Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cѐzanne and Berthe Morisot.

1876

Marriage of Isabella Maud Snow and Alfred St George Hamersley, Wellington, New Zealand

Patent issued on Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone, 7 March

1877

Birth of Sydney Lough Thompson, New Zealand, 24 January

1878

Birth of Hugh St George Hamersley, Timaru, New Zealand, 11 November (first child of Isabella Maud and Alfred St George Hamersley)

1879

George Herbert Scales arrives in New Zealand on the Duke of Athol, 29 January

1880

Birth of Helen Constance Hamersley, New Zealand (second child of Isabella Maud and Alfred St George Hamersley)

Birth of Hans Hofmann, Bavaria, Germany, 21 March

1881

Union of Women Painters and Sculptors founded, Paris, France

1883

Birth of Margaret Mary Butler, Greymouth, New Zealand, 30 April

1884

Deed of Settlement between G. H. Scales and Gertrude Maynard Snow is signed, trustees, W. H. Fitzherbert & Hugh Gully, 12 February

Marriage of G. H. Scales and G. M. Snow, Wellington, New Zealand, 13 February. George and Gertrude Scales spend early married life at Atiamuri, Bellevue Rd, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

George Herbert Scales (1858-1928), Flora Scales’s father
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Gertrude Maynard Snow (1859-1948), Flora Scales’s mother
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

1885

Birth of Edward Herbert Athol Scales, Wellington, New Zealand, 9 July (Flora Scales’s brother)

Birth of Hermina (Mina) Arndt, near Arrowtown, New Zealand, 18 April

1886

Birth of John Weeks, Devon, England, 8 June

1887

Birth of Helen Flora Victoria Scales, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 May

Celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, 20 June

1888

Birth of Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp, Wellington, New Zealand, 14 October

1889

Birth of Cecil Hastings Jack Scales, Wellington, New Zealand, 29 June (Flora Scales’s brother)

1890

Birth of Reginald John (Jack) Reeves, England, 21 February

Maurice Denis writes: “Remember that a picture – before being a warhorse, a nude woman or some sort of anecdote – is essentially a surface covered with colours arranged in a certain order.” – opening passage of ‘Definition of Neo-Traditionalism’, Art et Critique, 23 August 1890.

1891

Birth of George Arthur Maynard Scales, Wellington, New Zealand, 16 April (Flora Scales’s brother)

Birth of Ella Lilian Rowe, Melbourne, Australia

1892

Birth of Gertrude Maud Marjorie Scales, 8 November (Flora Scales’s sister)

John Weeks to New Zealand

1893

Enfranchisement of Women New Zealand

1896

Helen F. V. Scales (Flora) attends Miss Haase’s Private Day School, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Kate Sheppard becomes President of the National Council of Women, New Zealand

1897

G. H. Scales, Wellington auctioneer and insurance agent, is secretary to the National Conference of the Freight Reduction Movement (F.R.M.) which brought farmers up against the shipping companies to force wool freight rates down to Australian rates. This is a turning point in George Scales’s life. With the greater prosperity that ensues he begins the building of Kuhawai the family house on five hundred acres of land in the Western Hutt hills between Petone and Lower Hutt, above the Percy family home. In this he follows the lead of the Riddiford and von Zedlitz families, for example, who see Lower Hutt as a safe haven from the disease-ridden water and sewerage systems of Wellington. The Beauchamp family move to Karori for similar reasons.

Registration of George H. Scales Pacific Ltd.

Flora Scales, aged about 11, with her brother, Jack, aged about 9, 1898
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

1899

Flora Scales attends Pipitea Private School, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand

Watercolour by Gertrude Maynard Scales, 1900
Inscription lower margin reads: "View from our old house, ‘Atiamuri’, our front gate. Ludlam Gardens, Wainui hills in distance."
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

First exhibition of Berlin Secession, 19 May

1900

Scales attends Mary Swainson’s Fitzherbert Terrace School, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand, for two years

The house, Kuhawai, built by George Scales for his family in the early 1900s on the Western Hutt hills, New Zealand, c.1920s
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Katherine Mansfield attends Mary Swainson’s Fitzherbert Terrace School, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand until the end of 1902

1901

Death of Queen Victoria, England

Flora Scales, 1901, aged 14, mounted side saddle on “Brunette”
Photo: Bidwill family album

1902

Flora Scales, studio portrait, 1902, aged 15
Photo: Bidwill family album

1903

Flora Scales attends concurrently Miss Croasdaile Bowen’s School, Armagh St, and the Canterbury College School of Art, Christchurch, New Zealand, for two years

Prospectus, Canterbury College, School of Art, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1902
Photo: Courtesy Macmillan Brown Library - Te Puna Rakahau o Macmillan Brown, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2019

Beauchamp family return to England on SS Niwaru, a six week journey via Cape Horn and Las Palmas, 29 January. Harold Beauchamp books the entire passenger accommodation for his family.

The Beauchamp family, in port at Las Palmas, Canary Islands, on voyage from Wellington, New Zealand, to London, England, via Cape Horn, 1903
BACK ROW – Kathleen Beauchamp [Katherine Mansfield], Sir Harold Beauchamp, two officers of SS Niwaru, Vera Beauchamp
SECOND ROW – Charlotte Beauchamp, Annie Beauchamp, Captain SS Niwaru, Belle Dyer [aunt]
FRONT ROW – Leslie Beauchamp, Jeanne Beauchamp

Photo: Courtesy http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm//scholarly/ManLife-fig-ManLife_P012a.html

Birth of Ernst Anton Plischke, Austria, 26 June

Deaths of Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro and James McNeil Whistler

1904

Flora Scales confirmed Church of England, Christchurch, New Zealand

Death of James Nairn, Wellington, New Zealand, 2 February

Claude Monet exhibits 37 views of London, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, France

1905

First exhibition of Die Brücke (The Bridge) in Dresden marks the beginning of modern art in Germany, September - October. Includes work by Ernst Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

Exhibition of 315 Impressionist paintings, Grafton Galleries, London, England

Flora Scales painting outdoors, New Zealand, c.1905-1906
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

1906

Flora Scales exhibits New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington

Birth of May Anne Smith, Simla, India, 18 June

Paintings from the Salon d’Automne, Paris, France, shown at Lafayette Gallery, London, England

1907

Flora Scales exhibits New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington

Flora Scales is bridesmaid at the wedding of Miss Olive Cicely Mildred Heaton, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 16 November

Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore and Harold Gilman found the Fitzroy Street Group, London, England

Pablo Picasso paints Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon

1908

G. H. Scales begins a charter of steam ships to carry New Zealand wool to England

Flora Scales to London, England, to attend W. Frank Calderon School of Animal Painting for three years

Flora Scales, studio portrait, London, England, c.1908
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Katherine Mansfield to London on the SS Papanui with allowance of £100 per annum, 6 July

First exhibition of the Allied Artists Association, England. Organised by Frank Rutter to promote Modernist art in Britain.

1909

Neue Künstlervereinigung (New Artist Association) formed by Wassily Kandinsky, Marianne von Werefkin, Gabriele Münter, Alexej von Jawlensky. First exhibition Munich, Germany, 1 December.

National Loan Exhibition, Grafton Galleries, London. Held to raise funds for the National Gallery, London, England.

1910

Birth of Harry Westacott, Clapham, London, 3 April

Flora Scales awarded a scholarship to extend her tuition at the W. Frank Calderon School of Animal Painting, London, England, from three years to four, as reported by ‘Marsden School Old Girls’ Notes’, Te Kura, 1910, pg 19.

Flora Scales’s address is recorded as 54 Baker Street, Marylebone, London W1, England.

Death of King Edward VII, England

Publication of Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

1911

Flora Scales exhibits Cattle mustering in New Zealand (oil on canvas) [Location Unknown] at the Royal Academy, London, England. In conversation with A. de Lange, January 1982, Scales describes this as a painting of a “white shirted rider on a brown horse riding away with, I think, a stock whip.”

Flora Scales’s address recorded as 9 Queen Anne’s Gate, Bedford Park, London West, England

Der Blaue Reiter formed in Munich, Germany, 11 December. First exhibition included work by Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee and August Macke.

Third exhibition of the Neue Kunstlervereinigung, Munich, Germany, 18 December

1912

Registration of Geo. H. Scales Ltd. (G.H.S.)

Flora Scales travels home to New Zealand with her father. They visit family in America and detour to view the almost completed Panama Canal, 22 July

Exhibition of 140 paintings rejected by the selectors for the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition at McGregor Wright Gallery, 129 Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand

Exhibition of British art comprising 400 paintings by 170 artists, such as Walter Sickert, Édouard Manet, Henry Scott Tuke and Henry Moore, curated by John Baillie and George Clausen, Harbour Board Shed U, Wellington, New Zealand, April – June. Charles Wilson for The Press on the exhibition reported: “There is here no influence of Gauguin and Matisse, or the wilder and weirder of the Post-Impressionists, the cubists are absent…” – ‘Our literary corner. British art. The exhibition at Wellington’ by Charles Wilson, The Press, 27 April 1912, pg 9

Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition, British, French and Russian Artists, Grafton Galleries, London, England, 5 October - 31 December

Publication of Du Cubisme by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger

Salon des Indépendants, Paris, France, 20 March - 16 May

1913

Death of Helen Clara Snow (nee Piers), Hamilton, New Zealand, 30 March

Marriage of Marjorie Scales and Reginald John Reeves, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 11 November

Omega Workshops Ltd. established by Roger Fry, 33 Fitzroy Square, London, England

Armory Show (International Exhibition of Modern Art), New York, Chicago, Boston, USA

A caricature of Skandalkonzert ("scandal concert") held in the Great Hall of the Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, 31 March, featured in Die Zeit, 6 April 1913 
Image: Unknown author, Die Zeithttp://news.orf.at/stories/2175106/2175105/ 

1914

Flora Scales returns to New Zealand after visiting Siam (now Thailand). This journey may have included her visit to India with Margaret Hutchinson. While in India, she paints a polo pony belonging to Margaret’s brother, John, and a racehorse belonging to his friend. Margaret and Flora also visit Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on this voyage [Locations Unknown].

Flora Scales joins Academy Studio Club which holds classes in Wellington each Wednesday, and, in the summer, makes painting excursions to Pumpkin Cottage, Silverstream, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

First World War declared, 28 July

Panama Canal opens, 15 August

Disbanding of Der Blaue Reiter, Germany

1915

Flora Scales contributes a painting of horses in a dray [Location Unknown] to an exhibition arranged by Messrs W. H. Turnbull & Co. at the Panama St Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, to raise funds for the purchase of a water filter for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Turkey.

G. H. Scales has driving accident, as reported by The Dominion Post, 4 January

Rosebush on northern wall of Pumpkin Cottage. Flora Scales is known to have attended painting sessions at this location and is recorded as having planted an old rose beside the painted pumpkin sign sometime after 1914, perhaps in memory of her two brothers, Jack and George, who died in 1915 in the First World War. Image courtesy Upper Hutt City Library, New Zealand, Heritage Collections, New Zealand, https://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/16010

Hans Hofmann opens his Schule für Bildende Kunst (School of Fine Art), Munich, Germany

Prospectus, Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, Munich, Germany, 1915
Photo: Seitz, William Chapin, Hans Hofmann with selected writings by the artist, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, 1963, pg 56

1916

Birth of Ellen Patience (Patty) Reeves, 2 July (only child of Marjorie and Reginald John Reeves)

Flora Scales exhibits
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington
*Otago Art Society, Dunedin
*Auckland Society of Arts

Founding of New Zealand Labour Party

Pablo Picasso exhibits Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Salon d’Antim, Paris, France, July

1917

Flora Scales, Miss J. Newton and Mrs Prince organise an exhibition of sketches to raise money for the Trench Comforts Fund, as reported by The Auckland Star, 21 July

Flora Scales enlists in Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross (V.A.D.), Taumaru Military Convalescent Hospital, Lowry Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, where she works as a cook, 1917-1919

Russian Revolution, 1917-1918

Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross (V.A.D.), Taumaru Military Hospital, Lowry Bay, Wellington, c.1917
Flora Scales, seated centre, back row
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Cover, The Taumaru Trifler: Third Anniversary edition, Lowry Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, March 1919, signed LR F Scales [BC143]
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Flora Scales exhibits
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington
*Otago Art Society, Dunedin
*Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch
*Auckland Society of Arts

One reviewer, The Dominion Post’s “Lay Figure”, writes of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Exhibition, Wellington, 1917: “Visitors to the Academy’s exhibitions of recent years have always taken a lively interest in the work of Miss Flora Scales, who every year testifies to the fascination which horses have for her. This year Miss Scales is as “strong” as ever, indeed, in more than one of her always interesting studies she pushes “strength” to the verge of brutality. Miss Scales is as clever as ever in her studies of horses in strong sunlight, but she is gradually developing a crudity of colour which goes perilously near pictorial vulgarity. On an exhibition wall, the excessive strength is perhaps attractive, but to place one of these pictures in a quiet room – well, that is quite a different matter.” – ‘Review of New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition’, The Dominion Post, vol. II, issue 5, 1 October, 1917, pg 5

The Dominion Post’s “Lay Figure” also submits his opinion on the work of Frances Hodgkins in the same exhibition, which he delivers from his safe seat in the house of Academic Art: “There are two pictures by the well-known professional artist, Miss F M Hodgkins, which I think Miss Hodgkins’s friends have been very ill advised to send in at all. In 39 “Washerwoman in Brittany” [FH0556] there is positively no perspective, no attention to values. The water at the back appears to be going uphill, and the figure in front is positively chaotic in its anatomy. It is impossible to take such a crude and formless composition seriously. Miss Hodgkins’s other picture “Tunny Boats Concarneau” (48) [FH0533] is not quite so bad, but here again there is a glaring contempt for accurate drawing.” – ‘Review of New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition’, The Dominion Post, vol. II, issue 5, 1 October, 1917, pg 5

Captain Reginald John Reeves sails the SY Aurora, famous for its expeditions to Antarctica, under Douglas Mawson and Ernest Shackleton, from Newcastle, Australia, to Chile, loaded with coal.

1918

Death of Captain Reginald John Reeves. SY Aurora declared lost at sea, 2 January

Flora Scales exhibits
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Sketch/Autumn Exhibition, Wellington
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington
*Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch
*Auckland Society of Arts

Influenza pandemic strikes New Zealand, October - December

Treaty of Versailles signed, formally ending World War I, 28 June

1919

Flora Scales exhibits
*Otago Art Society Annual Exhibition, Dunedin, 29 January (arranged as the 1918 Annual Exhibition but held over due to Armistice Day celebrations, 11 November 1918)
*Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch, April
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Sketch/Autumn Exhibition, Wellington, 2 May
*Suter Art Society, Nelson, 22 May Otago Art Society Sketch Exhibition, Dunedin, June
*Free Kindergarten Fundraiser Exhibition, Wellington, July
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington, October
*Otago Art Society Annual Exhibition, Dunedin, November

Between 1906 and 1919, Flora Scales enters her work in 30 New Zealand exhibitions. Except for two illustrations in the Canterbury Society of Arts Catalogues dated 1918 and 1919, only titles of the exhibited works are now known. The titles suggest they are mainly studies of animals, rural scenes and landscapes. Just two figurative or portrait studies are mentioned.

Reviews speak of the small size of her work, her rich, bright colours, and her interest in transient effects of light and shade. Within these parameters she is apparently building on her academic training to become more impressionistic in style. She is remarked upon for her bold, decisive style and her daring use of colour.

Weimar Republic Constitution signed, 11 August

Birth of Janet Elaine Paul (nee Wilkinson), Auckland, New Zealand, 9 November

1920s

Gertrude Scales, Flora Scales and Marjorie Reeves build a house called Ikhona in Nelson, New Zealand, with a small studio attached to the garage. They grow apples and strawberries and work during the fruit picking season at Kirkpatrick’s canning factory along the road.

In Paris, France, the 1920s sees a decade of mounting political tension:
*The rise of the National Socialist Party
*Victory of Lenin’s Red Army
*March on Rome puts Mussolini in power Gertrude Stein coins the term “the lost generation” and the French refer to the decade as “les années folles”, “the crazy years”. American artists and writers in Paris revelled in this decade and labelled it ‘The Roaring Twenties’. Paris was cheap for the expatriates and, while many Parisians were impoverished and suffering, they were able to live well; the life of their dreams.

1920

Academy Studio Club clubroom destroyed by fire and a great loss of work by Flora Scales, D. K. Richmond and Mrs Prince (there had also been a clubroom fire in 1913), as reported by The Evening Post, 29 March

“Miss Flora Scales will hold Classes in Landscape Drawing and Painting on SATURDAY Afternoons. For particulars, apply after July 2nd, Beach Road, Tahuna (Dr Lucas’s House) Telephone 5775”, advertisement in Nelson Evening Mail, issue LIV, 26 June

Flora Scales exhibits
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Sketch Exhibition, Wellington
*Otago Art Society, Dunedin
*Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch
*Auckland Society of Arts

French National Assembly approves 500,000 francs for the building of the first mosque in Paris, France

International Dada Fair opens Berlin, Germany, 5 June

1921

New Zealand Truth reports “The Scales Divorce”, 19 March

New Zealand Women Painters exhibition opens, E. Murray Fuller’s Gallery, Vickers House, corner Woodward Street and The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 1 August. Includes landscape and animal sketches by Flora Scales. Other exhibitors are Margaret Stoddard, D. K. Richmond and Francis Hodgkins.

New Zealand Country Women’s Institute founded in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

New Zealand women enter public service as “Temporary Employees”. Permanent status is achieved in 1947

1922

Flora Scales, top right, with her sister Marjorie Reeves, her niece Patience (Patty) Reeves sits on the step below her aunt, Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand, c.1924
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Foundation of New Zealand Federation of University Women formed

Vaclav Vytlacil studies at Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, Munich, Germany, 1922-1926

Flora Scales, left, taking tea on the verandah of their Nelson home, Ikhona, with her sister Marjorie Reeves. Inscription verso, in Marjorie’s hand: "Flora and self on verandah of our house, Ikhona, Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand. Taken about 1924"
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Marriage of George Herbert Scales, aged 64, and Ella Lilian Rowe, aged 31, Knox Church, Christchurch, New Zealand, 18 February

Flora Scales exhibits
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Wellington
*Otago Art Society, Dunedin
*Suter Art Society, Nelson

1923

Gertrude Scales, Flora Scales and Marjorie Reeves sell or lease Ikhona, their house in Nelson, New Zealand

Flora Scales and Marjorie Reeves take work at Langley Dale Station near Blenheim, New Zealand, owned by Mrs W. Adams. Flora as a cook, Marjorie as a lady’s maid. Patience Reeves is schooled with Mrs Adams’s five grandchildren, by a governess.

Formation of the USSR

Death of Katherine Mansfield, aged 35, France, 9 January

1924

Flora Scales exhibits New Shoes for Old [Location Unknown] at the British Empire Exhibition, Palace of Arts, Wembley, London, England

She also exhibits
*Suter Art Society, Nelson
*New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Autumn/Sketch Exhibition, Wellington, May

First Labour Government in UK formed under Ramsay MacDonald, January

Publication of Surrealist Manifesto by André Breton, Paris, France

1925

Flora Scales exhibits New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Autumn/Sketch Exhibition, Wellington

Flora Scales listed as a member of the National Art Association of New Zealand

R. N. Field and W. H. Allen arrive in New Zealand to teach at Dunedin Technical School under the La Trobe scheme

Artworks from the British Empire Exhibition are included in the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin, New Zealand, 17 November 1925 - 1 May 1926. Mounted with the assistance of R. N. Field. Scales’s work New Shoes for Old [Location Unknown] is not listed in the catalogue perhaps indicating it was sold at the British Empire Exhibition for the modest price of £5 5s.

1926

Death of Hermina Arndt, Wellington, New Zealand, 22 December

18 women appointed as Justices of the Peace, New Zealand

1927

Flora Scales exhibits The Beach Track [Location Unknown] at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Sketch Exhibition, Wellington, as reported by The Evening Post, 15 May

Between 1920 and 1927 Flora Scales enters work in twenty-one New Zealand exhibitions. The subject matter expands to include shipping scenes, seascapes and scenes of rural life, such as ploughing and hay carts, which perhaps reflect her personal life in Nelson, working as an orchardist, as much as the enduring influence of the Barbizon and Impressionist Schools of the late-19th Century.

First exhibition by ‘The Group’, Christchurch, New Zealand, subsequent exhibitions held in 1929, 1931, 1932 and 1935. This association of artists aimed to provide a freer, more experimental, alternative to the exhibitions of the Canterbury Society of Arts. Members include Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, Rita Angus, Olivia Spencer Bower and Rata Lovell-Smith.

Rhona Haszard paints The Marne Valley, France

1928

Flora Scales departs Wellington, New Zealand, for Southampton, England, on the SS Ruahine, 3 February. Scales in conversation with M de Lange, 1982, explained that a Third class ticket cost £70. Her father saw her name on the passenger list and offered to buy her a First class ticket but she refused. Friends said she should have asked for the money instead but she would not do that. Scales also explained that she left to go overseas to a large extent because this enabled her to be free to work on her art without being constantly called on to help various members of her family in New Zealand.

Flora Scales arrives Southampton, England, 10 March. Her address is recorded as c/- Thackeray Hotel, Great Russell St, London [Bloomsbury].

Constance Hamersley
Concarneau. Brittany
oil on canvas on board
229 x 320mm
Private collection, New Zealand
Inscription verso: To Aunt Gertrude from Constance Hamersley Concarneau, Brittany by C H 1928
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

First of six exhibitions of contemporary British art brought to New Zealand by Mr and Mrs E Murray Fuller shown at the Whitmore Street Gallery of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts 13-26 April. The exhibition of 240 works included such artists such as Arnesby Brown, Harold Speed and W. Lee Hankey. Further exhibitions were held in 1930, 1932, and following Edwin’s death in 1933, Mrs Anne Murray Fuller arranged exhibitions in 1935, 1936 and 1940.

New Zealand Girls’ Life Brigade established, Dunedin, New Zealand

Flora Scales moves to Hotel Pierre Nicole, 34 rue Pierre Nicole, 5ème, (the Latin Quarter), Paris, France

Flora Scales meets Boris (Bobby) Kalachnikoff on boulevard Port- Royal, 5ème, Paris, France. Kalachnikoff, aged four, takes Flora to meet his family.

Madame Wadja’s restaurant, 10 rue de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, France, where Flora Scales and Bobby Kalachnikoff would sometimes take afternoon tea
Photo: Courtesy https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d720151-Reviews-Wadja-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

While Flora Scales is working at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière she meets Jan Darna, the professional name of Charles Taddei (1901-1974), who was an English speaking instructor there, 1927- 1929. She reports that “he gave me wonderful hints about good drawing”. Darna’s notes of art instruction remain amongst Scales’s papers donated to Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand FS ms 1893

1929

Death of Rochfort Snow, England, 16 March

Death of Alfred St George Hamersley, Bournemouth, England, 25 February

Gwen Knight's registration papers, Munich, Germany, 1929
Photo: Courtesy City Archives, Munich, Germany, 01.10.2020, reference (EWK65/G/443)

Gwen Knight in Munich, Germany, attends the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, 30 October 1929 - 2 April 1930

Hans Hofmann teaches summer school in St Tropez, France, July, August and September

Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts Summer Course Prospectus, St Tropez, Southern France, July, August, September 1929
Photo: Courtesy The Martin and Harriet Diamond Collection, Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Note, the address Hofmann uses in St Tropez, the address of Monsieur and Madame Coccoz, is where Flora Scales and Boris Kalachnikoff stayed in their summer holidays.

The house of Monsieur and Madame Coccoz, 76 rue Sibilli, St Tropez, France, overlooking the Place des Lices where Hans Hofmann stayed during the summer of 1929 and where Flora Scales and Boris Kalachnikoff stayed in the summer holidays during the 1930s.

Première of Ballets Russes Le Fils Prodigue, choreography by George Balanchine; music by Sergei Prokofiev; sets and costumes by Georges Rouault, Paris, France

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designs the German Pavilion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, Spain (reconstructed Barcelona, Spain, 1986)

1930

The Evening Post’s “London Personals” reports: “Another New Zealander who is studying painting on the Continent is Miss Flora Scales, and Miss Dudley [Winifred S. Dudley of Wellington, New Zealand] hopes to be with her also later on.” – The Evening Post, 12 May

Flora Scales takes the young [around 6-years-old] Boris Kalachnikoff to Le Tréport, Normandy, France, for the holidays

US stock market crash, 29 October

Margaret Butler attends Bourdelle School in Paris, France

1931

Flora Scales paints and sketches in the South of France. Her work of this period includes the vibrant cubistic Untitled [Mediterranean Scene] 1 and 2 [BC016, BC017] and the views over the town of St Tropez, such as Basilica and Lighthouse, St Tropez, Southern France [BC021].

Flora Scales describes her delight in travelling by train to the South of France in conversation with Linda Gill, 27 August 1976: "...through the most wonderful landscape – the houses are pink and they rise straight out of the grapevines which are yellow."

E. D. Kinzinger teaches summer school, St Tropez, France

Vanessa Bell, in a letter to Virginia Woolf, from Cassis, France, 5 February, 1927 describes the South of France: “Painting is a different thing here from what it can be in the winter in England. It's never dark even when the sky is grey. The light in the Penrose studio is perfect and even now one could even work out of doors, if one wanted to. It makes so much difference to be sure one won’t suddenly be held up in the middle of something by fog or darkness. Also the beauty is a constant delight. The people are very friendly and helpful and living is very cheap … it seems more and more ridiculous for painters to spend half their lives in the dark” – Spalding, Frances, Vanessa Bell: Portrait of the Bloomsbury Artist, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, London, England, 2016, pg 216

Hans Hofmann teaches at the Chouinard School of Art, Los Angeles, USA, in the spring, and at the University of California, Berkeley, in the summer. His teaching provides a platform for the development of mid-20th century American Abstract Expressionism.

1932

Flora Scales reported to M. de Lange that she destroyed any drawing of “that nature” [life drawings] before she returned to New Zealand (date unspecified) as they would not have been understood by her mother, “darling mummy”, or family, or, for that matter, anyone she knew here [in New Zealand]. – The Notebooks of Marjorie de Lange recording conversations with Flora Scales, 1982-1983

“Miss Flora Scales has arrived in Christchurch to spend several months with her mother. For the last four years Miss Scales has been studying art in England and Europe [1928 – 1932].” – ‘Art Notes’, Art in New Zealand, June, 1932, vol. IV, no. 16, pg 291

Maria Hofmann advises her husband, Hans, not to return to Germany from the USA

E. D. Kinzinger teaches summer school at St Tropez, France

Flora Scale's residency papers, Munich, Germany, 1932-1933, pg 1, reads:
Family name, first name. Marital status. Profession: Scales, Helen Flora Victoria. Single. Art painter (student).
Date of Birth. Religion. 24 May 1887. Church of England
Place of birth: town, region, country: Wellington, New Zealand
Parents: name, profession, places of birth and death: George Herbert and Marjorie Scales, née Snow [??] in Christchurch, New Zealand
Nationality and ID papers: British Empire – England – British passport issued in Wellington, 19.1.28, no. 38992, valid until 19.1.1933
Street and house number / property owner / registered / deregistered / to: Seinfeldstrasse 12 / Pension / 14.10.32 / 17.10.32 Reimundstrasse[?] 12/1 / Fischinger / 17.10.32 / 10.6.1933 / Paris

(Translation kindly supplied from now obsolete style of handwriting, Suetterlin, German, by Dr. Nelson Wattie, Wellington, New Zealand, 2021)

Photo: Courtesy Munich State Archives, Munich, Germany, 29.05.2020

Flora Scale's residency papers, Munich, Germany, 1932-1933, pg 2, reads:
Residences in recent years, departure, purpose of stay: Paris [?], previously Christchurch, New Zealand, attendance at art school
Signed on 7 Nov. 1932: Flora Scales

Bottom left shows two categories: Card filed and Signed. The date (7 November 1932) and the signed line have been bracketed together so that the date refers to the signed category and not to Card filed.

(Translation kindly supplied from now obsolete style of handwriting, Suetterlin, German, by Dr. Nelson Wattie, Wellington, New Zealand, 2021)

Photo: Courtesy Munich State Archives, Munich, Germany, 29.05.2020

Page from Untitled [Loose Leaf Pages] [BC112]
1932-1933
Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Reference no. FS ms papers 1893

Flora Scales and Gwen Knight are the only two Antipodean students to receive tuition at the Hofmann School of Fine Art, Munich, Germany

Flora Scales witnesses the marching of the Sturmabteilung, or ‘Brown Shirts’, Munich, Germany. She remembers seeing Adolf Hitler’s luxury apartment at Prinzregentplatz, 16 and the eeriness of the great empty hotel in which she stays. She meets Maria Hofmann, who invites her to tea. She recalls the caution with which she was warned to approach the house, lest she draw attention by her visit.

1933

Flora Scales departs London, England, for Auckland, New Zealand, on RMS Remuera, 29 September

Death of E. Murray Fuller, February

Elizabeth McCombs is the first woman elected to New Zealand Parliament, 13 September

1934

Toss Woollaston arranges a series of conversations with Flora Scales, Nelson, New Zealand, May - June. The sessions are brought to an end after the fourth meeting as Scales is offended by the idea that Woollaston regards her as his mentor, when she considers herself to be an artist not a teacher. – M de Lange Notebooks recording conversations with Flora Scales, 1982-1983

Flora Scales sends letter from Tahunanui, Nelson, New Zealand, to New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, requesting permission to submit two paintings made at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, Munich, Germany, 24 August. This request was duly accepted.

A press photograph published in the Northern Advocate, 9 October 1934, pg 8, showing eight paintings on an exhibition wall at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand. There are three paintings by Flora Scales shown, all in identical frames – lower left, no. 146 Drapery, 3rd from lower left, no. 148 Still Life Group, 2nd from upper left, no. 147 Group.

The catalogue entries for exhibition catalogued the works as follows:

Close-up of no. 146 Drapery by Flora Scales, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, 1934
Photo: Northern Advocate, 9 October 1934, pg 8

Close-up of no. 147 Group by Flora Scales, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, 1934
Photo: Northern Advocate, 9 October 1934, pg 8

Close-up of no. 148 Still Life Group by Flora Scales, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, 1934
Photo: Northern Advocate, 9 October 1934, pg 8

A press photograph published in the Christchurch Sun, 24 October 1934, pg 24, showing Still Life by Flora Scales, New Zealand Society of Artists Second Exhibition, Christchurch, with the caption:

“Modernist Work at Arts Exhibition – "Still Life," by Flora Scales, one of the “modern” pictures included in the exhibition of the New Zealand Society of Artists in the Durham Street Art Gallery, Miss Scales has spent some years of study in France and Germany.”

Röhm Purge or Night of the Long Knives consolidates Hitler’s supreme power, Germany, 30 June - 2 July

Toss Woollaston, aged 24, debates his future career, Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand

1935

Marjorie Reeves and daughter Patience, aged 19, travel to England on SS Anglo-Canadian, March/April. This is a G. H. Scales ship engaged in the wool trade between Australasia and England and carries only six passengers. Marjorie and Patience have officers’ family accommodation. Patience meets Third Officer Harry Westacott.

Film Triumph of the Will released, directed by Helene (Leni) Riefenstahl, Germany, 28 March. This controversial work of propaganda showcases Hitler at the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, Germany.

Hans Hofmann inaugurates his Summer School in Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA

Flora Scales travels Wellington, New Zealand, to London, England, on RMS Rangitata, 28 December

Fourth exhibition of contemporary British art at E. Murray Fuller’s Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 1 March. This exhibition was organised by Mrs Mary Murray Fuller who said: “... those who had broken away from the conventions of art and had instituted ultra- modern movements were making progress ... There is now in progress a swing back to old traditions, but art had benefited by the upheaval.”

Death of Dorothy Kate Richmond, Wellington, New Zealand, 16 April

1936

Flora Scales’s address recorded as c/- BNZ, 1 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4, England, 25 January

Flora Scales attends Académie Ranson, 7 rue Joseph Bara, Paris, France. Roger Bissière, her teacher, was an instructor there 1923-1939.

Exhibition of seventy one artworks illustrating 200 years of British Art, National Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 1 August. Majority of artworks from Tate and National Galleries, London. Arranged by the Empire Art Loan Collections Society.

International Surrealist Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, Piccadilly, London, England, 11 June - 4 July. Organised by committees from England, France, Belgium, Scandinavia and Spain. “The exhibition offered the public many different kinds of marvellous; there were over 400 exhibits; paintings, sculptures, ‘surrealist objects’ as well as an array of ‘ethnographic’ items from diverse cultures around the world and ‘natural objects interpreted’. Around 60 artists were represented, including most of the ‘big names’ of European surrealism alongside a range of home grown British artists. It showed, too, that surrealism was always a broader church than its critics tended to give it credit for; less a style or set of styles (many of the artists represented were not necessarily surrealists per se) than a way of seeing, or a way of being…” - ‘11 June 1936: The International Surrealist Exhibition’ by William Pinfold, http://williampinfold.com/82-years-ago-today-the-international-surrealist-exhibition/, 10 June 2018

Spanish Civil War

Drawing of Toulouse, France, by Boris Kalachnikoff
coloured pencil on paper
160 x 195mm
Inscription: UR Toulouse, LL Kalachnikoff Boris 1936
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

Seated front left, Flora Scales beside Boris Kalachnikoff, who has his arm linked in hers. Kalachnikoff’s mother and brother stand behind. Seated front right unknown. South of France, 1936
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

Bobby Kalachinikoff, seated. with his older brother, South of France, mid 1930s
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

1937

Franklin Roosevelt elected President of the USA

Exhibition Salon de Femmes Artistes d’Europe, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France, also travels to New York, USA. Large contribution from Femmes Artistes Moderne [F.A.M.].

1938

Gertrude Scales and Marjorie and Patience Reeves take up residence at Balmer Lawn, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England

Flora Scales and Boris Kalachnikoff travel to England to briefly visit her family in Hampshire, England

Entartete Kunst exhibition travels to Berlin, Germany, February

Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) also known as November Pogrom, throughout Nazi Germany, 9-10 November

1939

Marriage of Marjorie Reeves (nee Scales) and Hugh St George Hamersley, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. Hugh is the son of Isabella Maud and Alfred St George Hamersley.

Marriage of Patience Reeves and Harry Westacott, St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Malta, 21 April

First transatlantic commercial air service New York, USA to Marseille, France, 28 June, New York to Southampton, USA, 8 July

Paris Métro completed, France

Arrival of Maria Hofmann in USA, 26 August

Wedding reception for Patience (nee Reeves) and Harry Westacott, aboard HMS Shropshire, 29 April 1939
L to R: Colonel and Mrs Hugh Hamersley (Patience’s mother), Harry Westacott, Patience Westacott, Elizabeth Everard (bridesmaid), Unknown (bestman)
Photo: Mills, Hawthorne, Harry Westacott 1910-1944: a tribute, H. Mills, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, 1998, pp 3-4, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand

Flora Scales in St Tropez, France for the summer is visited by Marjorie and Hugh St George Hamersley, who stay at Hôtel Sube, April

Ernst Anton Plischke and wife Anna arrive in New Zealand

Spanish Civil War ends, Franco recognised by Britain, France, USA

Hôtel Sube, St Tropez, France, 1939
Verso inscription (in Marjorie Hamersley's hand, Flora Scales's sister): “St Tropez where Lassie is. This was taken from the balcony outside our bedroom. It was raining as you can see from the wet quay.”

Letter Hélène Riboty, Archives Communals de Saint-Tropez, France, to Gérard Dubosson, researcher, Nelson, New Zealand, 03.04.2020: "Regarding the 1939 photograph [Quay and Hôtel Sube]. This one was taken from the Hôtel Sube. The building destroyed after the Second World War, was the Marché Gras [building with three arches facing the camera], a covered market for food retailers. Severely damaged during the explosion of the port by the Germans during the landing of Provence on August 15, 1944, the municipality did not want to keep it and it was destroyed. I have been in touch with the current owner of the Hôtel Sube who acquired it about ten years ago and unfortunately she had not found the old hotel records." 

Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Patience Westacott’s address, Jesmond Dene, Byway Little Place, Chichester, Sussex, England, 29 September

Death of Daines Barrington Snow, Sydney, Australia

New Zealand Centennial Exhibition, Wellington, 8 November 1939 - 4 May 1940

Exceptionally severe winter in France, 1939- 1940

1940

Birth of Diana Piers Westacott, England, 13 May (first child of Patience and Harry Westacott)

Flora Scales in Paris, France, stringent food rationing, May.

Flora Scales arrested by French police, 7 December. According to notes in her sister Marjorie's scrapbook, Scales had been planning to go to Portugal at this time. Her arrest is noted in the Evening Post, 5 November 1941: “’Captured at Sea: List of Prisoners now in Detention Camps.’ Advice has been received that the following prisoners of war who were captured by the enemy from merchant ships are in the detention camps shown against their names;- SCALES, Miss Helen Flora Victoria (artist), Front Stalag, 121 Vittel, Vosges. (Last known address): Care Bank of New Zealand, Wellington; or care Mrs. Lisle, Tahunanui.”

Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979, recalled the circumstances of her internment: "When the war began, because I was English, I had to sign in every day at the Commissariat de Police. One day my landlady said, 'You're wanted. There is a policeman in your room!' He took me (and I asked him to carry my heavy suitcase) to the Commissariat de Police. The Germans took our passports. We waited a long time. [We were] put into police vans at 1 o'clock and taken to Gare de l'Este. The President of the USA heard that the American women were taken prisoner and cabled someone in France and said, 'If you take these women to Germany I will lock up all your German women in America.' That must have helped to keep us in a French prison. [We] sat in [a] train. We were given a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup. Late in the afternoon the train moved to [the] east, to Besançon.”

Katherine Lack describes the conditions that confronted the 2,400 women after three days in the train: “Outside it was snowing – at about 8 o’clock on Sunday morning we arrived at Besançon…Presently we were marshalled out into a yard and directed to three big barrack buildings…indescribably dirty. All one side of the building was one big rubbish heap and inside old straw mattresses in all stages of decay on the floor, old shoes, helmets and soldiers [sic] discarded rags and dirt everywhere…None of us had had a proper meal or any sleep to speak of for three days and nights.” – Lack, Katherine, Frontstalag 142: The Internment Diary of an English Lady, Amberley Publishing, England, 2011, pp 40-41

Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979, continues: “It [the camp at Besançon] was in a most dreadful condition. It had been snowing and we were very cold [1940 was the coldest winter in France in living memory]. We lit fires in the rooms, we were free to walk about to collect firewood. After a week I got ill and was sent to a hospital in the country and was cured. While [I was] there the camp moved to Vittel [after six months in Besançon] where I joined them [making another train journey of two nights]. The camp was situated in lovely hotel grounds, a spa. [I] was there for 22 months and had a very happy time. A weekly parcel [arrived] from the Red Cross. I joined Mr Jones class. He was a Welsh clergyman who ran a bible class…After 22 months I was sent back to Paris. Quite free but very little to eat. Had money from Swiss legation for food and I spent it on paint and canvas…The British Embassy was opened and gave me a ride back to England in the aeroplane. That was about 1945.”

Frontstalag 142 was later renumbered 121 and further renumbered 194, according to different administration units of the German Army. The Germans published photos and press stories about Vittel to showcase it as representative of conditions at German camps. Fanny Twemlow refers to the Grand Hotel [Frontstalag 142] as "a 'whited sepulchre' – beautiful on the outside but rotten within." – Lack, Katherine, Frontstalag 142: The Internment Diary of an English Lady, Amberley Publishing, England, 2011, pg 116

It seems that Scales was on the same train from Paris to Besançon as Mrs Sofka Skipwith (nee Princess Sofka Dolgorouky) who recorded her experiences at Besançon and Vittel in Sofka: The Autobiography of a Princess (Hart-Davis, London, 1968) and in notes held at the Imperial War Museum, England (ref. 92/31/1, pg 2), which give another view of life in the Frontstalag: “We were placed in hotels in Vittel, a complex of buildings situated in a park and surrounding the mineral water springs that constituted the ‘Spa’. The whole was surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by guards. Here the life of the camp became organised. Anyone who had anything to contribute volunteered so that by the end of the war one could become proficient in five languages, sit for G.E.C. exams, prepare for the Sorbonne, learn book binding, help with the library, attend constant lectures on various subjects, join the Dramatic Society, go to the keep fit classes, play tennis, table tennis, volley-ball, hockey, net ball, bridge or mah-jong, grow onion and lettuce in the flower beds or else, like the vast majority, sit knitting and gossiping, waiting for the time to pass and hoping only that nothing would disturb the peace by angering our jailers.”

Drawing of internment, Vittel, France, by Miss Fanny Twemlow
Inscription: LL Chambre 61, LR View from my bed
Photo: Lack, Katherine, Frontstalag 142: The Internment Diary of an English Lady, Amberley Publishing, England, 2011, pp 46-47

German Army occupies Paris, France, 14 June

New Zealand Women’s War Service Auxiliary formed

1941

Death of Charles D’Oyley Snow, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand Women’s Auxiliary Airforce formed

Marriage of Marjorie Mappin and Theo de Lange, Church of St Mark, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand, 15 November

1942

Flora Scales leaves Vittel, France, after being imprisoned 22 months and three days, 9 October. Early in 1942 the Germans began to implement their policy of releasing women over 60 years of age. Flora Scales was 55 when she left Vittel. Her release is noted in the Evening Post, 10 June 1943: “‘Artist in Paris: Allowed to leave camp’, Friends of the artist Miss Flora Scales will be glad to know that she has been allowed to leave the internment camp Vittel Vosges and is now living in Paris, near her friends a Russian family [the Kalachnikoff’s] who were refugees from the last war.”

Large quantity of plundered “degenerate” art burned in the gardens of the Galerie Nationale Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

Flora Scales’s Vittel camp identity card, Vittel, France. Details date interned 6.12.1940, also dated 9.10.1942, possibly the date of her release. Her identity card No. 37 EA41602.
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Flora Scales discovers loss of stored artwork which includes many, perhaps hundreds, of nude studies largely from the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, Munich, Germany. These had been plundered from Wheatley’s Warehouse, 32 rue Caumartin, Paris, France (possibly the address of the office for this enterprise) by the Army of Occupation.

Flora Scales spends the last two years of the war in Paris, France, where life is exceptionally difficult to maintain due to the bitterly cold winter, curfews and the scarcity of food. Not being a French citizen, and no longer having access to the Red Cross parcels she had as an internee, it is difficult to find sufficient food. She takes refuge in the art schools that remain open, sometimes working beside members of the Occupying Army, having found that heating is supplied if there are Germans attending the school.

New Zealand Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRENS) formed

New Zealand Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps formed

1943

Postcard from internee at Frontstalag 194, addressed to Flora Scales at 1 rue Joseph Bara, 6ème, Paris, France, just a few doors away from Académie Ranson at 7 rue Joseph Bara, which remained open during the war for a few students

Eleanor Roosevelt visits New Zealand to meet American forces based in the country, inspect the work of the Red Cross and study the contribution of New Zealand women to the war effort, 27 August

Birth of Gretchen Albrecht, Auckland, New Zealand, 7 May

Postcards sent by fellow internees, Vittel, France, to Flora Scales in Paris 1943 and 1944
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Birth of Robert Piers Westacott, England, 15 June (second child of Patience and Harry Westacott)

1944

Flora Scales receives postcard from Vittel internee, addressed to rue bis du Maine, 14ème, Paris, France

Death of Lt. Cdr. Harry Westacott at sea, HMS Trollope (K575) torpedoed off Cap d’Antifer, France, 6 July

Women’s Suffrage, France, July

Liberation of Paris, France, 19-25 August

High ranking German officers arrested and temporarily held at the Majestic Hotel (their occupation headquarters during WWII), Paris, France, 26 August

Flora Scales, seated right, soon after her repatriation to England, 1945. She is wearing the French dress, shoes and much darned stockings she had brought back in her small cardboard suitcase from France. Seated second from left, with baby, is her mother, Gertrude Scales.
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Marjorie and Hugh St George Hamersley return to New Zealand with Patience Westacott’s two children, Diana and Piers

Correspondence Flora Scales to her niece, Patience Westacott, who was at Camberley, England, with her mother, Marjorie, and two children, Diana and Piers. Scales is writing to Patience after the death at sea of her husband, Lt. Cdr Harry Westacott, Cap d' Antifer, France, 6 July
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

1945

Marriage of Patience Westacott (nee Reeves) and Garry Owen Evers-Swindell, Surrey, England

Flora Scales is now responsible for the care of her mother, Gertrude Scales, in England. They share a flat in the village of Eversley near Camberley and make excursions together to Dorset [Port of Weymouth Bay [BC025], dated 08/09/1945], and to Preston Church [Preston Church [BC102]] with which Gertrude’s family is associated. Scales’s great grandfather, Octavius Piers, was Vicar of Preston, 1816-1848.

1946

Death of Ernest Hastings Snow, New Zealand. His sketchbook is held at E. H. McCormick Research Library, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (acc. no RC2003/4)

Winter 1946-1947 very cold in England, temperatures recorded as low as -21°C

Ernst Plischke helps found the Architectural Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

1947

Death of Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Newlyn, England, 2 March

Death of Frances Hodgkins, Dorchester, England, 13 May

1948

Death of Gertrude Maynard Scales (nee Snow), England, 28 April

End of correspondence between sisters Flora Scales and Marjorie Hamersley

Ernst Plischke designs Khandallah Methodist Community Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

1949

Helen Hitchings Gallery opens, Bond Street, Wellington, New Zealand’s first modernist dealer gallery exhibiting modernist art and applied arts

World Peace Congress, Paris, France. Picasso unveils a drawing of a dove which becomes a universal symbol of peace and world communism.

1950

After the death of her mother Flora Scales moves to Cornwall, England. “I went to a horrible room in Mousehole, all yellow rocks. Not a good place for painting. Back to St Ives. I lived in a little hotel on the sea front at Penzance. Had a sale and then went back to St Ives. I used to pass Barbara Hepworth's studio and could hear her hammering. She was always hammering. I didn't like to disturb her and never went in." – Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979

Scales is visited in St Ives, Cornwall, England, by her niece Diana Zaharopoulos (nee Westacott) and in Mousehole, Cornwall, England, by Boris Kalachnikoff.

Burgeoning of St Ives School artists, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Wynter and Bernard Leach, England

Installation view, The Cornish Connection, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, New Zealand, 2017-2018
Foreground: Barbara Hepworth, Oval Form (Trezion), 1962-1963, bronze, ed. 7 (Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington)
Back wall: First from right, Bryan Wynter’s Blue Landscape, 1953, oil on canvas, (Collection The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson), second from right, Flora Scales, Boarding House, St Ives, Cornwall [1] [BC060] above Rita Angus’s Seamen’s Chapel, St Ives, 1959, watercolour, 283 x 351mm (Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

Photo: Courtesy Michael Moore-Jones, 2017

1951

New Zealand waterfront strike

Helen Hitchings Gallery closes, Wellington, New Zealand

1953

Marriage of Boris Kalachnikoff and Christiane Devèze

Boris and Christiane Kalachnikoff build a house at 102 boulevard Pasteur, Bry-sur-Marne, France. Bry-sur-Marne is a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, 12.6km from the centre of Paris.

Architectural Centre Gallery opens, Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand

Ernst Plischke designs the Sutch house, Wellington, New Zealand

1955

Death of Isabella Maud Hamersley (nee Snow), New Zealand, 27 January

Jan Darna establishes his workshop in L’Hay- les-Roses, a suburb 11km south of Paris, in the Val de Marne, 20km from Bry-sur-Marne, France

1957

Flora Scales begins a routine of spending May - June or July - August at 102 boulevard Pasteur, Bry-sur-Marne, France, at the home of Christiane and Boris Kalachnikoff. Scales often looks after the pet animals while Christiane and Boris take their holidays. Scales paints in the garden at Bry-sur-Marne and the surrounding small towns and countryside.

1958

Flora Scales’s British passport, 1958
Signed, H Flora V Scales
Profession, painter
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

British Abstract Painting Exhibition rejected by National Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, accepted by the Architectural Centre Gallery, affirming its role as Wellington’s foremost modernist public gallery

1959

Flora Scales’s address is 95 Belsize Square, Belsize Park, London NW3, England

Flora Scales attends Heatherley’s School of Art, October 1959 - July 1960. Later tells M. de Lange that she left a lot of her work at the Heatherley School but now considers these life drawings important and valuable as it all assisted her with her landscapes etc. Now she stresses that one should never throw anything away. M de Lange Notebooks recording conversations with Flora Scales, 1982-1983

1960

Death of Hugh St George Hamersley, New Zealand

Toss Woollaston acknowledges his debt to Flora Scales in a lecture for the Friends of the Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand, 8 November. In this lecture he incorrectly refers to her death while in internment in France in the 1940s.

New Zealand introduces television broadcasting

An all-white All Blacks team leave for South Africa

1962

Flora Scales returns, probably briefly, to New Zealand

Flora Scales is visited by her great niece Diana Zaharopoulos (nee Westacott), Paris, France

Publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Publication of Far-away Hills: a meditation on New Zealand landscape by Toss Woollaston, Art Gallery Associates, Auckland, 1962. Woollaston’s 1960 lecture for the Friends of the Auckland City Art Gallery.

1963

Death of E. D. Kinzinger, USA

Death of Maria Hofmann, Truro, Massachusetts, USA, 19 April

1964

Death of Roger Bissiѐre, Marminiac, France, 2 December

“With his disappearance, a whole chapter of Modernism, one that we could call the “Primitive Paradigm,” came to a close. The end of the primitive model in Modern art also signaled the emergence of what would later be called the Postmodern. While, in the typical Modernist tradition, Bissière struggled to be ‘primitive,’ that is, to see with an innocent eye, the new business model — so to speak — would be that of artists as intellectuals, entrepreneurs, technological wizards, or any combination of the above. Second-degree meta-discourses and irony would soon replace first-degree sincerity, which after the ‘60s, was seen as mere empty posturing…What interested Bissière in the primitive side of art was not the exoticism of the art from distant lands and the radical formal solutions they offered Modern artists, but rather the stoic sincerity of the anonymous Romanesque fresco painter.” – ‘Roger Bissière, The Last “Primitive”’ by Gwenaël Kerlidou, https://hyperallergic.com/370533/roger-bissiere-the-last-primitive/, 2017

1965

Flora Scales’s address is 10 square Albion Cachot, 13ème, Paris, France, 13 November 1965 - 29 May 1966

Death of John Weeks, Auckland, New Zealand, 10 December

1966

Death of Hans Hofmann, New York, USA, 17 February

1967

New Zealand Decimal Currency Act effective, 10 July

1968

Martin Luther King assassinated, 4 April

Robert Kennedy assassinated, 6 June

Richard Nixon elected President of the USA

1969

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon, 20 July

1970

Postcard from Boris Kalachnikoff in Saint Tropez, France, sent to Flora Scales at Bry-sur-Marne, 9.07.1970. Features a photograph of La Ponche which is seen in Scales's painting St Maxime [BC018]

Flora Scales’s address recorded as 203 Victoria Park Road, London E9, England

Death of Edward Herbert Athol Scales, New Zealand, May

Anti-abortion campaign, Auckland, New Zealand

Women’s Liberation Front hold meetings in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand

1971

Marjorie Hamersley donates three of Flora Scales’s paintings to the newly opened Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, New Zealand [Untitled [The White Horse] [BC003], Mediterranean Village [BC019], Port of Weymouth Bay [BC025]]

National Women’s Liberation Conference, Wellington, New Zealand

Britain changes from Imperial to Decimal currency, 15 February

1972

Flora Scales’s address is 159 York Place, Dunedin, New Zealand, July 1972 - late 1973. While here she meets artists Rodney Kennedy, Patricia France, Anne and Colin McCahon.

Colin McCahon: a survey exhibition, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand

1973

Death of Gertrude Maud Marjorie Hamersley (nee Scales, formerly Reeves), Selwyn Village, Pt Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand, 8 June

Death of Helen Constance Hamersley, England

Death of Sydney Lough Thompson, Concarneau, France, 8 June

New Zealand Domestic Purposes Benefit introduced

1974

Private exhibition and sale of 24 paintings by Flora Scales at the home of Mrs Joan Williams, Havelock North, New Zealand, 26 April and 1 May. Works selected from those held by the artist. Opening celebration attended by Flora and niece Patience Tennent.

Patricia France and Rodney Kennedy visit Flora Scales in Dunedin, New Zealand

Death of Gwendoline Knight, New Zealand

Death of Jan Darna, L’Hay-les-Roses, France

1975

Flora Scales with her great great niece and nephew, Sophie and Jacob, and their mother, New Zealand, 1970s
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Marriage of Ellen Patience Evers-Swindell (nee Reeves, formerly Westacott) and Patrick Stanley Tennent, St Mark’s Church, Havelock North, New Zealand, 19 April

Flora Scales moves from Dunedin to 38 Brentwood Avenue, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, where she lives until late 1976

International Women’s Year

Working Women’s Council established, New Zealand

Flora Scales at Brenda Gamble’s house for lunch with a work by Pat Hanly behind her, 1975
Brenda Gamble was part of the curating team assembled by Colin McCahon for the Auckland City Art Gallery exhibition Helen F. V. Scales, 1975-1976

Photo: John S. Daley (1946-2021), E. H. McCormick Research Library, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand

1976

Helen F. V. Scales exhibition tours to
*Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 5 March - 15 April
*The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua, Whanganui, June
*Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, 5 July - 19 July

Reviews of the exhibition are weighted with biographical information and labour Flora Scales’s influence on Toss Woollaston 42 years earlier. The tone is frequently patronising, with belittling terms such as “appealing”, and “charming in an unimportant sort of way”, used by the five male reviewers, who, all bar one, mention her age.

United Nations Decade for Women 1976- 1985 established

Gretchen Albrecht and Flora Scales, Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, February 1984
Photo: Courtesy Linda Gill

Flora Scales, centre, with Patience and Pat Tennent, taken on Mt Eden Maungawhau, Auckland, New Zealand, December 1976
Inscription verso: “Pat and me with Aunt Lass outside a restaurant in Auckland, the day we saw her off to France and England, 1976"
Photo: Courtesy Patience Tennent

Letter to Flora Scales from Boris Kalachnikoff, saying her arrival in France is keenly anticipated, dated 9 September

1977

Flora Scales returns to New Zealand on SS Shota Rustaveli, via Athens, where she meets her niece, Diana Zaharopoulos (nee Westacott). She arrives in Auckland 23 May and returns to live at 38 Brentwood Avenue, Mt Eden.

Flora Scales’s painting Orchard with Plum Trees [4] [BC077] is selected to illustrate the September page of the 1977 Modern New Zealand Painting Calendar, published by Alister Taylor

1978

Flora Scales suffers a broken collar bone and is taken to Rotorua, New Zealand by her nephew, Piers Westacott, who lives and works there

Flora Scales takes up residence at the Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, 26 October

Letter from Flora Scales to Janet Paul, Librarian, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, 11 June 1979, regarding arrangements to do with her gift of paintings and papers to the Library
Photos: Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National of New Zealand, Wellington

Letter from Patience Tennent to The Curator, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, 26 November 1978, regarding Flora Scales’s gift to the Library
Photos: Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National of New Zealand, Wellington

Flora Scales arranges for 17 oil paintings and a selection of drawings and notebooks to be donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National of New Zealand, Wellington. Process is managed by Janet Paul.

Boris Kalachnikoff in his garden at Bry-sur-Marne, France, with Tzigane, his German Shepherd, 1979. Tzigane was painted by Flora Scales in 1962 [Bry-sur-Marne [BC040].
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

1979

Women’s Art Archives established, National Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

1980

Women’s Art Gallery established, Wellington, New Zealand

1981

Death of Garry Owen Evers- Swindell, New Zealand

Flora Scales paints series of portraits such as Untitled [Portrait of a Head with Shaded Eyes] [BC092] and Untitled [Portrait Head with Blue at Lower Left] [BC093] at the Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, 1981-1983

Springbok Tour, Women Against the Tour oppose racist rugby in New Zealand

New Zealand women support Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, Berkshire, England, September

Photograph of a drawing by Boris Kalachnikoff, Young Girl, undated, kept in Flora Scales’s personal papers, Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, 1980s
Inscription: “Pour ma Marraine Flora que je n’oublerai jamais Boris Kalachnikoff" [For my godmother, who I will never forget]
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

Flora Scales talking to Angus de Lange, Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand, 1982
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

Flora Scales at Theo and Marjorie de Lange's house, Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand, 1982. Scales is seated with her skirt neatly folded over her lap to protect its shape, she is wearing a hat bought in France. Marjorie de Lange can be seen in the background, behind the counter.
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

1982

Marjorie de Lange begins recording conversations and observations of her visits to Flora Scales at the Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, 1982-1983. These recordings form the M de Lange Notebooks.

Flora Scales, aged 95, painting Theo [Portrait of a Male Head] [BC096] with sitter Theo de Lange at the Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, March 1982

Marjorie de Lange notebooks and letters recording conversations and observations from her visits to Flora Scales, Rotorua Masonic Village, 1982-1983
Photo: Courtesy de Lange Collection

Marjorie de Lange at Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand, 2008
Photo: Courtesy A. de Lange 

Marjorie de Lange in her sitting room, Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand, 2010 
Photo: Courtesy A. de Lange

1983

Death of Helen Marie Stewart, New Zealand, 31 March

1984

Death of Vyclav Vytlacil, Sparkhill, New York, USA

1985

Death of Flora Scales at Rotorua Hospital, New Zealand, 11 January

Women in New Zealand Society 1884-1958, Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 17 May - 21 July. This exhibition, co- sponsored by Unilever New Zealand Ltd., was part of the centenary of Sunlight Soap, and celebrated the end of the International Decade of Women, 1976-1985. Each woman included represented one year. Flora Scales represented the year 1932. The exhibition included brief biographical notes and a portrait photograph. No art works were physically displayed.

1986

Patience Tennent donates Flora Scales's easel, palette and smock to Museum of New Zealand Te PapaTongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (reg.no. CA000215/001/0001)

Gretchen Albrecht donates Scales’s paint box, brushes and paints to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (reg. no. CA000215/001/0002)

Flora Scales’s paint box, donated in 1986 to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand by Gretchen Albrecht
Photo: Courtesy A. de Lange, 2019

1987

Death of Colin John McCahon, Auckland, New Zealand, 27 May

1988

Death of May Ann Smith, Coromandel, New Zealand, 24 July

1989

Death of Rodney Kennedy, Dunedin, New Zealand, 14 October

1991

‘Incorrect reporting of the death of Flora Scales and its unfortunate consequences’, A Grievous Error, Unpublished Autobiographical Notes, Sir M. T. Woollaston, Chapter 10, pp 60-130, Museum of New Zealand Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (reg. no. CA000062/001/0002). Jennifer Twist, librarian, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, correspondence with B. de Lange, 25 June 2015, says these notes are thought to be one of Woollaston’s attempts to rewrite Sage Tea in which he acknowledges his mistaken report of Scales’s death in his 1960 lecture to Friends of the Auckland City Art Gallery.

1992

Death of Ernst Anton Plischke, Austria, 23 May

1994

Toss Woollaston in conversation with Gregory O’Brien, Upper Moutere, New Zealand, September 1994:
GO’B:  How did Flora Scales influence what you were doing?
TW: Profoundly and instantly and constructively. She helped me paint pictures stimulated by what I saw in nature instead of trying to render an imitation. Nature was like the ingredients of a cook – you make it into something different.
Talking Toss Woollaston, Gregory O’Brien: Toss Woollaston in conversation with Gregory O’Brien, https://nzbooks.org.nz/2001/comment/talking-toss-woollaston-gregory-obrien/

1995

Death of Patricia France, Dunedin, New Zealand, 8 March

1998

Death of Sir Mountford Tosswill (Toss) Woollaston, Upper Moutere, New Zealand, 30 August

2004

Death of Dame Janet Paul, Wellington, New Zealand, 28 July

2005

Death of Theo de Lange, Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua, New Zealand, 4 July

Death of John Drawbridge, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 July

2006

Death of Patrick Stanley Tennent, New Zealand, 2 May

2008

Death of Ellen Patience Tennent (nee Reeves, formerly Westacott, formerly Evers-Swindell), Havelock North, New Zealand, 19 May

2013

Death of Boris Kalachnikoff, Villejuif, Val de Marne, 13km from Bry-sur-Marne, France, 22 March

2014

Death of Marjorie de Lange, Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua, New Zealand, 31 March

2015

Death of Diana Mills (nee Westacott, formerly Zaharopoulos), New Zealand

2021

The search for Flora Scales's stolen artwork from Paris, France, in the early 1940s continues with research by Dr Nelson Wattie, Wellington, New Zealand, in collaboration with David Zivie, Ministère de la Culture, Secrétariat général, Chef de la Mission de recherche et de restitution des biens culturels spoliés entre 1933 et 1945, Paris, France

Launch of florascales.com, an online catalogue and website dedicated to Flora Scales. The Flora Scales Catalogue is an ongoing project and we would like to encourage anyone who is in possession of, or knows of, previously unidentified paintings accredited to Scales, or supposed to be made by Scales, to contact us.