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FRISTROM, EDWARD (1864-1950)

FRISTROM, EDWARD (1864-1950)




"Māori Woman Weaving A Kete" (c.1909)

oil on canvas

60 x 50cm

signed lower right

*private collection, Auckland
*Dunbar Sloane, Auckland, 27 April 2001, lot 517
*private collection, Melbourne
*Menzies, Melbourne, 23 Nov 2022, lot 147

*private collection, Sydney


Claus Edward Friström was a respected Swedish-expat Artist. Friström studied at the Royal School of Art in Stockholm, practicing landscape painting and portraiture in the European tradition. In the late 1880s he emigrated to Brisbane alongside his artist brother, Oscar, who was a foundation member of the Queensland Art Society. Edward became a council member and regular exhibitor. In 1903, Edward relocated to Auckland, New Zealand, and began exhibiting at the Auckland Art Society, specializing in portraits of the local Māori, and New Zealand landscapes inspired by the Art Nouveau movement. In 1909 he returned to Brisbane, where he exhibited his New Zealand paintings at the Queensland Art Society. Following an invitation, Friström returned to Auckland to take up a teaching position at the revered Elam School Of Art. Here he became the country's most influential and important instructors, teaching the next generation of NZ artists, including Ida Eise, Robert Johnson & George Finey. In 1915, he again relocated to San Francisco, where he became a prominent member of the Art Society, until his death. Friström's paintings (particularly his Māori portraits) have been enthusiastically collected by museums, including the Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa & Dunedin Art Gallery.


This impressive oil was inspired by legendary NZ painter, C.F. Goldie; in particular his 1903 masterpiece, "The Widow (Harata Rewiri Tarapata of Ngāpuhi)". It originally comes from a private Auckland collection. A kete is a traditional Māori basket, made of woven flax.

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