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Alfred John Tattersall

Alfred James Tattersall 29 March 1866 – 25 November 1951 was a New Zealand photographer,[1] who lived in Samoa for most of his life and contributed a significant collection of images of the Pacific Island country and its peoples during the colonial era[2]


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Gallery
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Tattersall was born in Auckland on 29 March 1866[3] He moved to Samoa in 1886 to work as an assistant in the studio of John Davis When Davis died in 1893 Tattersall took over his studio and negative collection[4] He went on to live in Samoa from 1886 to 1951, including the volatile era when Britain, Germany and the United States were vying for control of the Samoa Islands Many of his photographs are significant in the history of Samoa and covered eras such as German Samoa 1900 - 1914 followed by the country's administration under New Zealand which saw the rise of the pro-independence Mau movement

Tattersall went to Samoa in 1886 to be an assistant in the photography studio of British photographer, John Davis This was the era of colonial photography in the South Pacific when the tropical landscapes and indigenous people provided 'continual fascination' for foreign photographers[5]

In 1891, another New Zealander, Thomas Andrew joined Davis and Tattersall[2] In the same year, Tattersall married Blanche Yandall[6] In 1903, Tattersall took over the business when Davis died[7] Postcards were a popular part of his business which distributed the images around the world Apart from landmark historical events, Tattersall also photographed hundreds of landscape scenery and studio portraits of Samoans posing in traditional attire

In 1920 Tattersall was appointed as one of the three unofficial members of the new Legislative Council of Western Samoa[8] He contested the 1926 elections to the Council, but was unsuccessful[9]

He died in Western Samoa on 25 November 1951 at the age of 85[6][3]



  1. ^ "Works of Art, Photographer and Photo Source" The Metropolitan Museum of Art Retrieved 13 February 2009mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink
  2. ^ a b Maxwell, Anne 2000 Colonial Photography and Exhibitions: Representations of the Native and the Making of European Identities Continuum International Publishing Group p 166 ISBN 0-7185-0229-9 Retrieved 13 February 2010
  3. ^ a b Alfred James Tattersall Museum of New Zealand
  4. ^ Nordstrom A 1991 "Early Photography in Samoa" History of Photography 15: 280
  5. ^ Webb, Virginia-Lee July 1996 "Picturing paradise: photographs of Samoan life and culture, 1875-1925" USA Today Society for the Advancement of Education Retrieved 13 February 2009
  6. ^ a b Mr AJ Tattersall Pacific Islands Monthly, December 1951, p120
  7. ^ "View of Vaea hill, Samoa, ca1897" University of Southern California Retrieved 13 February 2009
  8. ^ Lauofo Meti 2002 Samoa: The Making of the Constitution, National University of Samoa, p17
  9. ^ Legislative Council Elections Samoanische Zeitung, 3 December 1926

External links

  • Samoans Posed in Front of a Hut with Palm Fronds and Thatched Roof; a photograph with biographical information about Tattersall from the World Digital Library

Alfred John Tattersall Information about

Alfred John Tattersall

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