Wellington Scoop

Katherine Mansfield’s house reopening


News from Katherine Mansfield House
The Wellington birthplace of Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed writer, will reopen to the public on Sunday after months of closure for renovations and enhancements.

Since April, Katherine Mansfield House & Garden has been closed for exterior and interior refurbishment. The work will preserve this Category 1 historic building into the future and give visitors a greater insight into the life and work of its famous former occupant and her family.

“After 30 years of being open to the public, it was time to give the house some much-needed TLC,” says Cherie Jacobson, Director of Katherine Mansfield House & Garden. “We are very excited about this new chapter in the story of the house.”

“We have worked with Dr William Cottrell, an expert in the furniture and interiors of the colonial period, and used clues from the initial 1980s restoration to further explore the styles that would have appealed to a fashionable colonial family climbing the social ladder. Some incredible pieces of historic furniture have been acquired to help illustrate the trends of the late 19th-century.”

A new permanent exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into Mansfield’s world, while a programme of changing exhibitions will begin with The Doll’s House | Te Whare Tāre, an exhibition of dolls’ houses and miniatures that reflects Mansfield’s love of the miniature and her famous story.

The public are invited to an open day celebration on Sunday 13 October from 10am to 4pm at Katherine Mansfield House and Garden, 25 Tinakori Road, Thorndon. Entry is by donation. The day includes the annual sale of plants propagated from the museum’s heritage garden by dedicated volunteers and a cake at 2pm to celebrate the 131st anniversary of Mansfield’s birth in the house on 14 October 1888.

“We would love to see new visitors as well as those who have visited before,” says Jacobson. “A lot of work has taken place over the past five months, so even people who are quite familiar with the house are seeing it in a whole new light which is very rewarding.”

“This place is a national taonga and we’d love to share its history and Katherine’s literary legacy with anyone who is curious to explore it. She led a fascinating life and her work has really stood the test of time. We’re looking forward to welcoming more people to the house and garden in the coming months and years.”

Regular open hours will continue to be Tuesdays – Sundays.