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What’s in a name?

The first event in the Cromwell Museum Winter Series 2021 will ask that question on Sunday when the name Cromwell, Oliver that is, and his links to the town allegedly named after him will be explored.

“In Search of Cromwell: The Legacy of a Forgotten Painting’’ presented by University of Otago associate professor of English Thomas McLean will be speaking at the museum from 3pm.

In it, associate Prof McLean examines the history of Thomas Herbert Maguire’s work Cromwell Refusing the Crown of England and the Victorian fascination with Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War.

In 2019, a large Victorian print of the work came up for auction in Dunedin.

The engraving was made after an 1859.

While Maguire’s painting is all but forgotten today, it was one of the most celebrated images of its time.

He will also explore the production and distribution of 19th century prints, a technology that allowed a painting such as Maquire’s to remain in Britain but its image to become well known across the British Empire _ including New Zealand but what was the print of this painting doing here?

Associate Prof McLean will also speak about New Zealand’s ambivalence to Cromwell and his legacy.

The Cromwell Museum Winter Series will also feature Dr Richard Querel of NIWA Lauder on July 25, Jo Wakelin, of Cromwell Polytechnic, with a presentation called “Low on H20” on August 8, Wildlands Consultants senior ecologist Brian Patrick with “Nature’s Rainbow – discovering New Zealand’s exciting butterflies’ an illustrated journey’’ on August 22.