13 Nov 20 - 28 Mar 21
Vivid colours, humorous tales and exotic places were projected by magic lanterns onto the walls of New Zealand’s churches, lecture halls, theatres and living rooms. These extraordinary devices of brass and mahogany delighted audiences nationwide from the 1830s. Small community halls in the heartland of New Zealand shared in this global phenomena, through shared lanterns or visits from travelling lanternists.
This summer, Whangarei Museum shares magic lanterns and slides from their Collection in a special exhibition. Experience a lantern show as would have been shown by an enthusiast in their home parlour. Familiar tales, places and current events portrayed in glass slides from the Collection connected settler communities to their homelands and helped them form a new national identity. Even after the birth of movie theatre and modern photography, magic lanterns remained useful visual tools into the 1950s.