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Judy Siers collection of James Chapman-Taylor photographic prints.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-2010/12

Scope and Contents

Black and white photographic prints collected by Judy Siers, author of the bookThe life and times of James Walter Chapman-Taylor . Series 1 comprises photographs of a number of well-known Auckland landmarks, including the University of Auckland clock tower. All of these photographs have been mounted for exhibition; the original mounts include Chapman-Taylor’s pencil captions and signature. The photographs in Series 2 are all of Maori subjects, including portraits of Maori and photographs of carved meeting houses or wharenui. A number of the wharenui photographed by Chapman-Taylor during the 1940s have since been rebuilt or extensively renovated. Chapman-Taylor’s detailed photographs of these buildings are therefore an important record of the earlier structures.


  • 1920s-1940s


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted

Biographical / Historical

James Walter Chapman-Taylor (1878 - 1958) was born in London in June 1878, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1879 settling near Stratford in Taranaki. While Chapman-Taylor is best known as an architect, he was also a skilled furniture designer, builder and photographer.

Chapman-Taylor’s photographs appeared in the architectural magazine Progress from 1907 and he was an active member of the Auckland Camera Club in the 1920s and the Wellington Camera Club from the late 1930s. As well as exhibiting his work Chapman -Taylor was a critic and judge for many local photographic competitions. He became an associate member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1948.

Chapman Taylor‘s fourth wife Marion Hurst Gottwalz (nee Wickens) (1893-1969), whom he married in 1938, had an interest in anthropology and Maori life. Together they visited many pa and marae and the photographs of Maori subjects in Series 2 reflect this.

As a photographer Chapman-Taylor enjoyed experimenting with different lens, papers and exposures and some of the prints in the collection include his notes on exposure times on the reverse.

Reference: Judy Siers. 'Chapman-Taylor, James Walter', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 30-Oct-2012 URL:

Correspondence with Judy Siers, November 2010.


0.5 metres (2 boxes.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Architectural images purchased from Judy Siers in November 2010 and Maori images in March 2011.

Related Materials

Judy Siers collection of James Chapman-Taylor architectural drawings. MSS & Archives Arch 2011/1.

Inventory of the Judy Siers collection of James Chapman-Taylor photographic prints.
Finding Aid prepared by Katherine Pawley
August 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand