Hallenstein postcards of the past

Tūhura Otago Museum marketing co-ordinator Charlie Buchan fills out a postcard at the "Absolutely Agnes" exhibition yesterday.

The exhibition celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Hallenstein Brothers business and is part of a city-wide celebration of the business.

In particular, it recognises more than a century of philanthropy from the extended Hallenstein family.

Agnes Fawcett Barden (nee Hallenstein) was born in Queenstown in 1868 and was the youngest daughter of Bendix and Mary Hallenstein.

After graduating from the University of Otago, she moved to Europe in 1893.

She never returned to New Zealand.

However, she was a keen correspondent and regularly sent postcards to family back home.

After Agnes’ death in 1953, Esmond de Beer was instrumental in ensuring a part of the Bardens’ personal collection of primarily Greek antiquities and Japanese decorative arts entered the museum’s collection.