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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

VON HAAST, Sir John Francis Julius KCMG, FRS 1822–1887

VON HAAST, Sir John Francis Julius KCMG, FRS 1822–1887

Born Bonn, Germany, worked as geologist and mineralogist at University of Bonn. Arrived in Auckland 1858 to report on shipping projects for a shipping firm: met geologist Hochstetter there and joined with his party and with artist Charles Heaphy on a survey of coal deposits in Huntly area. Was asked 1859 to make topographical and geographical survey of West Coast for Nelson Provincial Council. Reported on coal deposits and traces of gold in rivers. Worked for Canterbury Provincial Council in 1860 re Lyttelton tunnel work and appointed Provincial Geologist February 1861. Made valuable exploratory trips in Mt Cook area 1861–62, mapping glaciers and tracing sources of rivers. In 1862 founded Philosophical Institute of Canterbury and published many papers gaining world recognition. Presented a paper to Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1864, illustrating it by ‘well-executed watercolours’ which had been painted by his friend Gully from detailed notes and sketches by Von Haast. He helped to found Canterbury Museum (was first director 1869) and Canterbury Collegiate Union, precursor of University. Lectured in geology in Canterbury University College from 1874 and member of Senate until he died. Was all round gifted man in arts as well as science, ennobled by Emperor of Austria and knighted by Queen Victoria in 1886. Represented in Turnbull.