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Deserted: Taken about 1900, a photo of a group of women at Frankton Beach features in an exhibition at Lakes District Museum

By PHILIP CHANDLER

A new exhibition putting the Queenstown Lakes’ early history under the spotlight’s providing a fascinating insight into how early surveyors saw the area developing.

‘Foundations’ is on display at Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum and features detailed early survey maps of Queenstown, Frankton, Arrowtown, Kingston, Glenorchy, Wanaka and Hawea, supplemented by photos and other works by local artists depicting buildings of
the day.

Till now, museum projects manager Jane Peasey says, the hand-coloured old survey maps have been too fragile to display.

‘‘But we’ve had the expertly photographed and we’ve been able to blow them up to 600cm by 600cm.’’

Modern-day local surveying company Paterson Pitts Group has helped with the cost of printing the maps — prints of both the survey maps and the photos are for sale.

The exhibition — running till April 18 — is in the museum’s gallery space.

Originally, it had been thought that area might be needed for storage after museum staff had to empty two floors of displays from the old Bank of New Zealand building, before its earthquake-strengthening project started.

‘‘As it turns out, we managed to find storage for all the artifacts in our other storage areas,’’ Peasey says.

scoop@scene.co.nz