Explore the stories of our native forests through the botanical paintings of artist Fanny Bertha Good (1860-1950) and the experiences of her family in colonial Taranaki.

Fanny Good.Fanny Good was born in Taranaki and lost her hearing as a teenager after contracting measles.

While Taranaki's native forests were being cleared to make way for farmland she spent her time exploring the bush near her home in Ōeo and later Hāwera, collecting native plant specimens for her work.

Puke Ariki holds over 200 of Fanny's paintings, with a large selection showcased for the first time in State of Nature. Working with oil paint rather than the more traditional media of watercolour, her depictions of native flora and fungi are more expressive than those of other botanical artists of her time. Yet her attention to detail means that many of the species she painted can be clearly identified, providing a unique record of our botanical landscape.

Several of the species that Fanny painted are now in decline or threatened with extinction. Through her work and creative responses by four contemporary local artists, discover the role that art can play in bringing attention to the state of our natural environment. Follow a multi-sensory journey through the trees, learn what makes them so special, and discover how you can help protect and grow our native forests today.

Image credit: Good Family Collection

7 April 2023 - 5 November 2023
Temporary gallery, ground floor, Puke Ariki Museum
Building map
Free Entry
All ages
Access limited
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View the collection highlights

Explore a selection of Fanny Good’s artworks that feature in State of Nature: Picturing the Silent Forest and learn about the flora and fungi species she painted.

The Good Family’s Story

What did Taranaki look like in the late 1800s?
Follow Fanny Good’s cousin Samuel Clarke Good as he travelled around the region in 1884, through an interactive story sharing observations from his diary and historic photographs from the Puke Ariki Heritage Collection. Then discover more about Fanny’s siblings and their experiences living in colonial Taranaki.

New Plymouth Sash & Door Company, timber yard (unknown date). Unknown photographer. Collection of Puke Ariki.
PHO2013-0001 credit: Blasting tree stumps (unknown date). A.W. Reid. Collection of Puke Ariki.
Wood chopping contest (unknown date). A.W. Reid. Collection of Puke Ariki.

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