John McGarrigle's American Photographic Company specialised in portraits of Māori. These were not portraits commissioned by Māori; they were intended for sale to the public. In his advertising, McGarrigle claimed to have the 'largest stock of Maori celebrities in New Zealand'. His tendency to use the same cloak for a range of different sitters – one cloak is worn here by four different subjects in 1865 – highlights the commercial nature of his portraiture and sounds a warning to modern-day researchers, who need to be cautious in their interpretation of his portraits.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: Clockwise from top left: A.004713; A004709; A.004691; C.010146
Photographs by American Photographic Company
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.