The House today operates as a vibrant interpretation center and is a window into the past. 

Photo credit: Emily Andrews

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McCahon House Museum: The Visitor Experience

From the narrow, steep and winding road, a visitor looking down the bush clad meandering path, will view the small house below. A walk down that path and into the house,  an award winning interpretation centre, is a walk into an experience that offers a sense of the recent past. The House Museum presents a rare and unique insight into a vital and vibrant period in New Zealand’s artistic history and an opportunity to appreciate the power of McCahon's vision and assiduity. 


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The McCahon Years

McCahon’s Titirangi home
Diana Miller, Colin and Anne McCahon, Peter Tennant, Pat Hanly and Connie Larson on the deck of the bach. 

Photographer Barry Millar Oct. 1957

From 1953 Colin McCahon, his wife Anne and their four children William, Victoria, Catherine and Matthew lived here amongst the kauri, until they moved to Partridge Street, Arch Hill in 1960.

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Tell us your stories

Do you have a story to share of living in Titirangi in the 1950s? Did you visit or know the Titirangi McCahon house? Help us to collect these living memories and read the stories from others.

Tell us your story...

 

"....– one quite elderly gentleman told me he encountered McCahon in a class when he was at Ilam or the Canterbury Art School and had done a painting of haystacks only to be told by McCahon – ‘haystacks in New Zealand don’t really look like that’."

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In March 2014 Art and Object exhibited five works by McCahon in the cottage. The associated article McCahon's work is right at home written by for Home Magazine, with photography by Jeremy Toth, is well worth a read.

Titirangi

Titirangi Shops 1950's

Photo credit Gerhardt Rosenberg

Titirangi—a Maori word often translated as 'the fringe of heaven’—is situated  in the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges and skirts the northern shore of the Manukau Harbour.  

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"Have just acquired a 12ft dinghy. Have been rushing home to get it painted & have worked on it all today & yesterday with a friend—the launching next weekend. It’s magnificent to be a boat owner—only we can’t really afford it—are still building onto the house & doing alterations"... "The kids had the best summer holiday ever—at the beach & in the bush all the time—almost none of the Chch boredom, and all so brown & well."
Extract from a letter  dated 21 March 1954, to his Christchurch friend, the writer John Caselberg.

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“Spent today with the McCahons at Titirangi; we sat on the beach before lunch while the children bathed, then all afternoon till dusk on their terrace platform that seems suspended amidst the forest, the slender kauris with their light spring green rising from the leafage below & soaring high above. A deep murmur of insects in the forest, native pigeons flying now & then away from the trees, moreporks calling after dark…"

Landfall editor Charles Brasch 1955