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The Berry & Co. Collection, held by Te Papa Tongarewa (The National Museum of New Zealand), contains 93 portraits of Chinese New Zealanders from 1900 to the early 1930s, many are assumed to have been Wellington based.[1] The collection comprises of approximately 3000 glass plate negatives[2], and were found in the 1990s by tenants of William Berry's (b 1858, d 1949[3]) former studio at 147 Cuba Street (1905-1925, and possibly from 1945-1951).[2][3][4] The same building also had Wong, Yung, Chough and Co, fruiterers (1910-1940), Young & Co, fruiterers (1945-1955) and New Asia Fruit Co, fruiterers (1961-1985) as tenants, which may be a factor in Wellington Chinese choosing to have their portraits taken by Berry.

The majority of the portraits are of men, reflecting the relatively low number of Chinese women in New Zealand at the time.[1]

Many of the subjects of the portraits are unidentified, and those with inscriptions may refer to the person who paid for the portrait, rather then the subject themselves[1]. Te Papa Tongarewa is requesting assistance in identify the subjects of these portraits.[1]

MA I316181 TePapa Portrait-of-two-children full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1930, 1940). Portrait of two children. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/380527

MA I016846 TePapa Portrait-of-a-woman-inscribed full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1910). Portrait of a woman, inscribed “Lee Bick”. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/352381

MA I316186 TePapa Portrait-of-Wong-She full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1932). Portrait of Wong She Poy, inscribed “Wong She Poy Passports.” Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/380535

MA I316180 TePapa Portrait-of-a-young-woman full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1920, 1930). Portrait of a young woman. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/380526

MA I301768 TePapa Portrait-of-Sik-Hum-Wong full

William Berry. (1913). Portrait of Sik Hum Wong, Leik Choy Yin and Alice Yuk Lee Wong. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/372035

MA I316182 TePapa Portrait-of-an-elderly full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1932). Portrait of an elderly man. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/380528

MA I059921 TePapa Portrait-of-Gee-Ching full

William Berry. (1920). Portrait of Gee Ching Dong (Herbert Gee-Dong), Wong Yuk Lan (Lily Gee-Dong) and baby Norman Gee-Dong. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/363987

MA I028216 TePapa Portrait-of-Gee-Ching full

Te Papa Tongarewa. (1919). Portrait of Gee Ching Dong ( Herbert Gee-Dong), Wong Yuk Lan (Lily Gee-Dong) and Rose Gee-Dong. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/361830


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Te Papa Tongarewa. (n.d.). Family Ties: Portraits of Chinese New Zealanders in the Berry & Co. Collection. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/8979
  2. 2.0 2.1 Te Papa Tongarewa. (n.d.). Departing shots: Berry & Co portraits of World War One soldiers. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/648
  3. 3.0 3.1 Early New Zealand Photography. (2008). Berry & Co. Retrieved 17 December 2017, from http://canterburyphotography.blogspot.com/2008/08/berry-co.html
  4. Wellington City Council Me Heke Ki Poneke. (2017). Wellington Heritage - Berry Building - 145 Cuba Street, 147 Cuba Street. Retrieved 17 December 2017, from http://www.wellingtoncityheritage.org.nz/buildings/1-150/82-2-berry-building?q=

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