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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook


page 7


Una Platts is a discerning reader of detective stories: her own approach shows the dedication, determination and patience of the best private eye.

Many collectors have attempted the task of collating information on New Zealand's early artists; only Una has had the inspiration (and doggedness) to pursue it to the end.

Our own attempt, which grew to six tightly packed drawers of index cards, faltered when we began to concentrate on early prints of New Zealand. We know of perhaps a dozen other private researchers and institutional staff who dug for a while and became diverted by continuing research into a specific artist or group of artists.

Una's introduction is far too modest, for while it hints at the depth of coverage and method of working, nowhere does it mention the sheer hard work of following leads, laying myths to rest, and revealing new and unsuspected details.

Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists is tribute to the hours (and miles) Una Platts put into unravelling her mystery: the histories of New Zealand's colonial artists.

We are proud to be associated with a great detective—and her book.

E. M. & D. G. Ellis

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