WOMAN WORKS TO ENHANCE MEMORY
If Mrs H.P. Horne has a mission in life, it is to protect and enhance the memory of Gottfried Lindauer, one of New Zealand’s most famous painters.
“So many lies have been told about Lindauer. For example, it is said he never painted pakehas, but I have found 21 paintings of pakehas by him around New Zealand,” said Mrs Horne, of Hardinge Road, Napier.
“I was born half a mile down the road from where he lived at Woodville. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I probably know more about him than any other living person.”
Mrs Horne, an 80-year-old widow, is widely recognised as being the foremost authority on Lindauer.
She has helped the National Film Unit with its documentary on Lindauer for both television and cinemas, which has yet to appear.
She is now helping a North Auckland man, who is writing a thesis on Lindauer, and recently she went to Woodville and helped the chairman of the Woodville centennial committee.
“I just want to boost a poor old man who was rather downtrodden. That’s over-simplifying it a bit, but he was not honoured in his day,” she said.
“There are a lot of things about him I am just learning now. For example, his was the first house in Woodville to be built on a concrete foundation, as opposed to concrete piles.”
Gottfried Lindauer was probably the first person to grow tobacco in Hawke’s Bay, about 75 years ago.
Mrs Horne is a remarkable woman.
She does not know how long her family has lived in Hawke’s Bay, but her father was born here in 1866. She thinks her grandfather arrived about 1863.
There was a Maori pa near her childhood home at Woodville, and Lindauer used to go and live with the Maoris and sketch them. But when he was home she would go up to his studio, knock on the door, walk in and sit down.
Eventually Lindauer would turn to her from his easel, smile and say hello.
“He never spoke to me when I came in. He had so much in his head which he had to get on to canvas first,” said Mrs Horne.
Her other aim in life is to enjoy herself. She has been a widow for more than 20 years, nursed her husband for 13, and her father was bedridden for eight years before that.
Travel is, perhaps, her favourite means of enjoyment. She has been nearly to the North Pole and has reached Alaska.
“When I was nine, I decided to go to Norway. I have been four times since. I am determined and patient.
“I like going to unusual places – big cities are only hard pavements and the temptation to buy things I don’t need.”
Photo captions –
THE REMARKABLE 80-year-old Mrs Horne, who is widely recognised as the foremost authority on the life of New Zealand painter Gottfried Lindauer. She has travelled nearly to the North Pole and recently drove herself to New Plymouth and back – a round trip of 600 miles.
ABOVE: GOTTFRIED LINDAUER, one of New Zealand’s most famous painters, at work.
BELOW: One misconception about Lindauer is that he never took photographs. Mrs Horne has proof that this this [is] not so – this photograph of her father with 42 brown trout, weighing 80 lb, was taken by Lindauer in 1898.