Thursday, 7 August 2008

J.R. Morris of Dunedin

John Richard Morris was, according to Hardwicke Knight in his book, New Zealand Photographers. A Selection, "one of the leading Dunedin professional photographers for many years." One of five sons of a Dunedin City Corporation valuer, also named John Richard Morris, he opened his first studio around 1870. He continued, with premises on Princes and George Streets, and with a variety of partners, including Robert Clifford - featured in a previous Photo-Sleuth article - until 1915.

J.R. Morris took over the studio of another renowned Dunedin photographer, Walter John Burton (1836-1880), after the latter's suicide in 1880. he also acquired other studios in Dunedin, operating them with a series of managers. These included the American Photographic Company in Princes Street in the 1890s. He, Fred Muir and Frank Coxhead established quite a reputation for landscapes. He died during the influenza epidemic on 29 June 1919. (from Auckland City Library's Photographers Database and Knight (1981))

Image © and collection of Brett Payne

The vignetted three-quarter length cabinet card portrait shown above features an unidentified elderly couple. It was probably taken in the late 1880s.


  1. Brett,

    I have been looking around for New Zealand family history or genealogy blogs without luck for some time now but today I and found yours. Please let me know if you are aware of others.

    Vidar in Norway

  2. Hi Vidar,

    I don't have any NZ family history research of my own, as I'm a fairly recent immigrant, but it does interest me, so I will feature more New Zealand photographs, photographers and research subjects in due course. I'll look around for some other NZ family history research blogs for you. In the mean time, if you have any old photos that you think may be of interest to reasers, please consider letting me use scans on Photo-Sleuth.

    Regards and best wiahes, Brett

  3. If this link works it will take you to another photo by Morris of New Zealand.

    1. Thanks anyjazz. Nice photo - I tried to leave a comment, but even after I registered I still could find a place to do so, as I found some info about the subject. Well, their loss.


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