Painting, 'Old Bourbon Rose'; Turnbull, Marie; 1977-1978; ESC.85.007


Painting, 'Old Bourbon Rose'

About this object

This watercolour titled, 'Old Bourbon Rose' was painted by esteemed New Zealand botanical artist Marie Turnbull.

Artist Biography:
In 1924, after the death of her father from influenza, at the age of 5, Marie went with her mother and siblings to live with her maternal grandparents in Wyndham. The Marsh Family were prominent members of Wyndham, with Marie's grandfather, William being the proprietor and editor of the Wyndham Herald. It was at Wyndham District High School that Marie began her art training and developed her interest in horticulture.

Turnbull furthered her art education during her four-years at Nelson Girls' College, where she was recommended for a position at the Cawthron Institute. She went on to study under Roland Hipkins at the Wellington Teachers' College and later taught Arts and Crafts as a Correspondence school teacher.

As a farmer’s wife and a mother, Marie painted in her spare time. She painted plant portraits only from living plants and when the family left the farm in 1970, Marie's plants list exceeded 3,000. As a member of the Scottish Rock Garden Club, a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society and the President of the New Zealand Iris Society, Marie painted meticulously, both in colour and horticultural detail. Marie was awarded Bronze and Silver Grenfell Medals for an exhibition she presented of 60 iris paintings and 50 alpine plant paintings.

She was President of the NZ Iris Society for three years and made Iris Gardens in Queens Park, Invercargill and Mona Vale, Christchurch.
From the late 1950s to early 1970s, Marie also contributed many artworks for the Save the Children Fund which were used on gift cards and stationary. Marie provided the artwork free of any charges as she never forgot the support given to her mother when she was left a widow with four children. The charity made thousands of pounds using Marie's watercolours.


Turnbull, Marie

Maker Role


Date Made




Medium and Materials

inorganic, processed material, pigment, watercolour
organic, processed material, vegetal, paper
organic, processed material, vegetal, paper, card

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Rangiora


h 560 mm x w 460 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Art and Design

Subject and Association Keywords

Plants (flora)

Object Type


Object number



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