The exhibition tells the story of painter James Nairn and his colleagues who went against the mainstream and developed an indigenous, Impressionist style of painting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rebelling against the insincerity of the dominant romantic landscape imagery of the time. It features paintings, historic objects, a DVD and catalogue written by curator and art historian, Jane Vial, which relates how the group of artists developed a unique approach to Impressionism and the bohemian lifestyle - with Pumpkin Cottage as their rural haven.
The Pumpkin Cottage paintings were donated to the Expressions Trust for the people of Upper Hutt in 2009, by collectors Ernest and Shirley Cosgrove, who collected them over a period of 30 years.
Developed by Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt and based on the Pumpkin Cottage Paintings Collection gifted by Ernest and Shirley Cosgrove. Curated by Jane Vial and toured by Exhibitions Services Ltd.
The exhibition includes work by James Nairn, Mabel Hill, John Bailie, H.M. Gore, Maurice Crompton-Smith and Mary Elizabeth Richardson Tripe. Impressionists from Christchurch and Dunedin, including Alfred Walsh, W.M. Gibb, John Madden, Frances Hodgkins and Girolamo Nerli were also inspired by the Pumpkin Cottage artists and movement.