BC124

Homecoming

Two horses facing viewer, left flanks visible. Horses pull laden cart through farm gate. Man wearing a hat seated on cart holding reins. Tree at right margin curves left.

Other title(s)
The Home-coming
Date
c. 1914 1921
Object type
etching
Medium and materials
etching on paper
Dimensions
unknown
Place Made
New Zealand
Details
Credit Line
Copyright Licence
Image 1: Courtesy Art in Australia, Australian & New Zealand Etching Issue, Sydney, no. 9, 1 April 1921, plate 65, Image 2: Courtesy Ross, Gail MacDonald, New Zealand Prints 1900-1950: An Unseen Heritage, University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006, pg 38, illustration fig. 3
Current Collection

Unknown

Current Location

Unknown

General notes

First title taken from the Australian Painter-Etchers' Society First Annual Exhibition, 1921 and was catalogued as: Flora Scales (NZ), No. 1, “Homecoming”, Price unframed £AU2.12.6, Price of frame 8/-, Edition - prints remain 1.

The second title appears with an illustration in Art in Australia (no. 9, 1921, plate 65) [image 1]. The work also appears in New Zealand Prints 1900-1950: An Unseen Heritage by Gail MacDonald Ross (University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006, pg 38, illustration fig. 3) [image 2]. These are the only images recorded of this work, it's location is unknown.

Mandy Fenwick, equestrian, in conversation with B. de Lange, March 2020, supplied the following description, “This is an etching of a two horse drawn cart. The Clydesdale horses pull the laden cart through a farm gate. Man holding reins, seated on cart. The Clydesdale horses wear harnesses and blind bridles to lessen distraction. They also wear collars designed to distribute the drag of the load being drawn.”

Sometime after her return to New Zealand in 1912, Scales met James Ingram McDonald (1865 – 1935), Acting Director of the Dominion Museum, Wellington, who painted at Pumpkin Cottage as one of the ‘Silverstream School’. McDonald was also a member of the Academy Studio Club in Wellington which Scales joined in 1914. There, McDonald taught Scales, among others, the process of etching. Later in 1923, it was McDonald who alerted Scales to the upcoming selection of work by New Zealand artists for the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, London, England, 1924. Her painting New Shoes for Old was included in the exhibition, the location of this work is unknown and there is no known image of the work.


LETTER FROM FLORA SCALES TO MR JAMES MCDONALD, c.1921 [see Related images 2 and 3]

161 Glover Road
Hawera
[1921]

Dear Mr. McDonald,
                   Just a line to thank you very much indeed for your letter which I received about a fortnight ago! I am very very sorry you are not going too accept the sketch of the collie dog but at the same time will be delighted to swap sketches with you and will send some down to you to choose from (if I ever have any good enough ! ! !) I have long desired to have one of yours, one especially, that a friend of mine bought, of a hill top with a bit of blue cloudy sky!

The sketch exhibition seems to have been a huge success, artistically speaking, but am sorry there were not more buyers!          Yes! Egmont is magnificent that is the only way to describe it, especially when at sunrise the shafts of light fall on its snow white peak! I can see it quite easily from the verandah here!

Yes: thank you Mr. Murray Fuller has the two etchings which I signed, or one rather, as I heard one had been sold!

I will close now though I hope you will excuse this hurried note; I may not have a good opportunity to pen a line for some time, again thanking you for yours                           

Yours very sincerely
Flora Scales

PS I will look forward to seeing the proofs of the etchings whenever they come, but I know how busy you are! Don’t overwork yourself             F. S.

Used as illustration

‘Etching in New Zealand’ by Maurice Hurst, Art in Australia, Australian & New Zealand Etching Issue, Sydney, no. 9, 1 April 1921, plate 65 (black and white)

Ross, Gail MacDonald, New Zealand Prints 1900-1950: An Unseen Heritage, University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006, pg 38, illustration fig. 3 (black and white)

References

‘Etching in New Zealand’ by Maurice Hurst, Art in Australia, Australian & New Zealand Etching Issue, Sydney, no. 9, 1 April 1921

“Important as is the association of the work of master etchers in the Dominion, it is the aims and achievements of the living that are of pressing interest. But there is little, as yet, that can be recorded in this connection. The practice of etching has not grown to any considerable extent, and the few workers in this field have attracted little public attention through their prints. It is a new art in New Zealand and the handlers of the needle are per force content to work for the love of art and for their own satisfaction. In the Dominion all art is handicapped by the extreme isolation of the country, by the small population (only recently has the million mark been passed) and by the necessary task of laying the foundations of industry and civilisation. But the etched work of New Zealand’s artists is certainly worthy of respect, and it will surely win public appreciation when it becomes better known.

The two leading [New Zealand] women etchers are Miss Mina Arndt (Mrs Manoy) and Miss Flora Scales. Miss Scales shows in her etchings the same mental interest that is revealed in her drawings and paintings - the toilers of the fields. Indeed, no artist in the Dominion can delineate farm animals and scenes so well as Flora Scales. So far she has produced only a few etchings but already shows herself a competent worker with the copper plate.”

‘Graphic Art in New Zealand: An Historical Note (1888 - 1920)’, Art in New Zealand Quarterly, December 1930, vol. III, no. 10, pg 147

"In Christchurch, the making of prints appears to have started about 1909 when R Wallwork commenced etching…Flora Scales and Ronald McKenzie, in Christchurch have been working for a considerable time…"

Ross, Gail MacDonald, New Zealand Prints 1900-1950: An Unseen Heritage, University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006, pg 38

“While printmaking was never a major part of McDonald’s output he was responsible for teaching several other Wellington artists how to etch. Among them was Flora Scales. Once McDonald taught Scales how to etch, she began creating pastoral scenes such as “The Home-Coming” (etching) c 1917 (fig 3) and “The Woodcart” (etching) c 1917 [Location Unknown]. Bland and sentimental, these etchings betrayed no hint of the modernist painter she would later become.”

Acknowledgments

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