The inspiration behind the collection

J. G. Keulemans was a dutch-born artist who is known for being the illustrator behind many of the nineteenth centuries most notable ornithology books. His works included being the illustrater for the well-known A History of the Birds of New Zealand by Sir Walter L Buller. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds a number of items related to Keulemans, including illustrations, published books and subsequent derivative works post his death. These can be found here.

Australian natural history painter and self taught artist George Raper is another source of amazing bird imagery within the Alexander Turnbull Library collection. His paintings of birds, other animals and plants are held at the Alexander Turnbull Library, the British Museum (Natural History), the
Mitchell Library, Sydney, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the National Library of Australia. The Raper collection items can be found here.

Images from the Keulemans and Raper collections have been used as the base for the "Birds of New Zealand" range. The imagery used on our products is shown below, with a link provided to view the original artwork.

  • Blue-wattled crow, Glaucopis wilsoni. Orange-wattled crow, Glaucopis cinerea

    Shows blue-wattled crow (North Island kokako) on ground in foreground, and orange-wattled crow (South Island kokako) perched on branch of fuchsia tree behind.

    Based on an artwork by J. G. Keulemans, published in 1888.
    View Original 
  • Heteralocha acutirostris [Huia. Male and female].

    A pair of huia perched on a branch, the female with its long curved beak
    to the left (marked with a small female symbol by the tail), the male
    (marked with a small male symbol beneath the branch) to the right,
    turned in towards the female.

    Based on an artwork by J. G. Keulemans, published in 1888.
    View Original 
  • The kakapo or owl parrot.

    Shows a kakapo in the foreground
    perched on a broken tree branch, and a second kakapo in the right
    backround emerging from under tree roots.

    Based on an artwork by J. G. Keulemans, published in 1888.
    View Original 
  • Alcedo [Sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)]

    Sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus). Specimen depicted perched on a branch above water.

    Based on an artwork by Raper, George, ca 1788-1790.
    View Original 

The Birds of New Zealand Range