George O'Brien's watercolour shows the grand buildings that were put up for the New Zealand Exhibition held in Dunedin in 1865. The exhibition was the country's first to attract international participation and was intended to boost Dunedin's reputation and turn the income derived from the gold rushes into long-term cultural prosperity. O'Brien came to Dunedin about 1863 as a draughtsman and artist and showed work in the 1865 exhibition. Along with painters such as William Mathew Hodgkins, he helped establish Dunedin's importance as a centre of painting in the 1860s and 1870s.
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Toitū Otago Settlers Museum
Watercolour by George O'Brien
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