John Rykenberg migrated to New Zealand from Holland in the mid-1950s and established a successful photography business in Albert Street, Central Auckland. Rykenberg Photography has gifted the first instalments of his collection of over one million images, mostly negatives, to Auckland Libraries. The images cover the period from 1958 to 2006 and show Auckland buildings, street scenes and social events such as weddings, christenings, 21st birthdays and Christmas parties.

Rykenberg also worked as a street photographer which involved taking candid photographs of people as they walked down a city street, while at ship departures or in restaurants, followed by an invitation to visit his studio to buy a copy of the picture. Nightclubs and restaurants would often hire these photographers to take photos of patrons as a record of their night out.

Wharves

Group of school boys on a wharf.

Group of school boys on a wharf, 1959.

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Group of women with streamers on a wharf.

Group of women with streamers on a wharf. Some of the women are wearing Waitakere Bears uniforms, 1959.

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Three Pacific Island women standing on a wharf.

Three Pacific Island women standing on a wharf, 1959.

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Group shot of a Pacific Island family waving on a wharf.

Group shot of a Pacific Island family waving on a wharf, 1959.

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Street scenes

Three women wearing patterned skirts and dresses, holding handbags.

Three women wearing patterned skirts and dresses, holding handbags, 1960.

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Man in a suit and sunglasses holding the hands of two young girls.

Man in a suit and sunglasses holding the hands of two young girls, 1960.

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Women smiling, wearing a cardigan and holding a handbag.

Woman smiling, wearing a cardigan and holding a handbag, 1960.

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Dining out and musicians

Showing two men and two women seated at a table at the Hi Diddle Griddle.

Showing two men and two women seated at a table at the Hi Diddle Griddle, 1961.

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A band of four men (possibly the Quin Tikis?) playing on a stage.

A band of four men (possibly the Quin Tikis?) playing on a stage, 21 December 1961.

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A man and a woman seated at a table at Fagels restaurant.

A man and a woman seated at a table at Fagels restaurant. 6 August 1960.

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A band playing at the Picasso. A female band member is playing the clarinet.

A band playing at the Picasso. A female band member is playing the clarinet, 23 December 1961.

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Two men wearing ties and one woman seated at the Picasso. Crowds seated are visible in the background.

Two men wearing ties and one woman seated at the Picasso. Crowds seated are visible in the background, 23 December 1961.

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Three waitresses standing behind a counter.

Three waitresses standing behind a counter, 23 December 1961.

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A man and woman seated at a table, the woman is holding a cigarette. A person is talking on a telephone in the background.

A man and woman seated at a table, the woman is holding a cigarette. A person is talking on a telephone in the background, 31 December 1961.

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Showing a man holding a cigarette and a woman with spectacles seated at a table at the Hi Diddle Griddle.

Showing a man holding a cigarette and a woman with spectacles seated at a table at the Hi Diddle Griddle, 31 December 1961.

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A group of eleven women seated at a table at the Gourmet.

A group of eleven women seated at a table at the Gourmet, 4 January 1962.

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Band playing in a room with egg cartons in the background and coffee cups on a table in the right hand corner.

Band playing in a room with egg cartons in the background and coffee cups on a table in the right hand corner, 4 January 1962.

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The exhibition

Friday 29 September – Sunday 15 October

44–46 Lorne Street
Central City Library
Auckland, New Zealand