Mrs Pérrine Moncrieff, Nelson

Marjorie Naylor
New Zealand, 1908–1985
Mrs Pérrine Moncrieff, Nelson 1941
oil on canvas 690 x 573 mm
Collection of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū: presented by the artist in 1980. ACC: 576

This is an eccentric portrait of a well-known Nelson personality, Pérrine Moncrieff (1893–1979). Moncrieff was responsible for the creation of Abel Tasman National Park, in 1942. She was a keen ornithologist, and a founding member of Nelson Bush and Bird Society (later Forest & Bird) among many of her environmental interests.

Naylor’s portrait depicts a busy woman – so busy, Moncrieff was probably using the time to knit socks while being painted.

Marjorie Naylor’s Gallery 29 studio and home was in Bridge Street (now Ian Wills’ jewellery shop). Her studio was notable both for the collection of paintings hanging in the window and for the building itself, one of the last surviving examples of mid-Victorian wooden buildings in the inner city.

Marjorie Naylor in 1963. Courtesy Nelson Provincial Museum, Geoffrey C Wood Collection, L4450fr1

Marjorie Naylor

Marjorie Naylor was well known for her portraits and landscapes, with her works in the permanent collection of the Suter Art Gallery as well as throughout New Zealand and overseas.

She ran art classes from her studio in Bridge Street, and then in 1932, she took over running the Nelson School of Painting in Hugh Scott’s studio. She was involved in the Nelson Suter Art Society for many years and exhibited in the gallery.

Her home and studio were at 29 Bridge Street Nelson next to the Suburban Bus Co., now Ian Wills Jewellers. Built in 1855 by Thomas Askew, this little wooden building has had many occupants, including a butcher, cooper, corsetry and lingerie boutique, an art gallery, and jeweller, as well as being a home.

At the time of her death, Austin Davies, then Director of the Suter, described Marjorie as a shy, retiring person, a meticulous individual and one liked by many people.

Installation Details

27 Bridge Street
(Suburban Bus Station)


Many thanks to the property owner and tenant for being part of ArtWalk.

Nelson City Centre ArtWalk is a joint project by Make/Shift Spaces and The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū.