Woman sitting with a book.

Impressions of Katherine Mansfield

Take a tour through items drawn from our audiovisual collections that shine a light on the wonderful legacy of one of our most renowned authors.

Although her time in Aotearoa was limited – she was born here in 1888, went to school in England from 1903 to 1906 and left New Zealand permanently in 1908 – her influence and impact on the national psyche has been huge.

Her importance is reflected in the number of biographies and critical studies published about her life, not to mention her work, journals and letters. Radio programmes, a television series, a documentary, a feature film and many plays have also been produced and several of her short stories adapted for film. 

The Wellington house she was born in has become a popular museum and the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship is a significant literary award – she truly is a national treasure.

The three themes of our exhibition cover her work, family and friends, and her legacy.

A special highlight – we imagined what Spotify playlist of Katherine’s favourite singers might look like, based on recollections by her brother-in-law Richard Murry.

Other exhibition highlights include:

  • Excerpts from The Sisters of Kezia, an interview recorded in 1962 with her sisters Vera, Chaddie and Jeanne.
  • Excerpts from the radio documentary Her Bright Image – Impressions of Katherine Mansfield including an interview with an elderly Ida Baker, Katherine’s longtime companion.
  • News items exploring her influence and ongoing interest – centenary events, restoring the house at Tinakori Road, Wellington, Villa Isola Bella in Menton, France and the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship.